Alexis Jennings and Batouly Camara Invited to 2015 USA Basketball
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky women's basketball freshman forward Alexis Jennings and incoming freshman Batouly Camara (pronounced Ba-TWO-lee ca-MAR-a) are two of the top 19-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996), who have accepted invitations to attend the 2015 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team Trials, USA Basketball today announced. Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
"Looking at the list of invited players, I believe the committee members are going to have their hands full because it's fill with so much talent," said USA U19 head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina). "I look forward to repeating the trials that we had last year, because it was competitive. It was respectful. All the players really bought into our coaching staff and the things that we had put in. Hopefully we'll have a repeat trials and come up with a team that will compete and win the (FIBA) U19 World Championship."
Six members of the 2014 USA U18 National Team that earned gold and the USA its 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship berth are returning to compete for a spot on the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team -- as is the coaching staff. Assisting Staley and the U19 squad are collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico of the University of Michigan and Jeff Walz of the University of Louisville.
Along with UK's Jennings and Camara, accepting invitations to attend the USA U19 World Championship Team Trials were: Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); De'Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.); Kalani Brown (Salmen H.S./Slidell, La.); Alliya Butts (Temple/Edgewater Park, N.J.); DiJonai Carrington (Horizon H.S./San Diego, Calif.); Chassity Carter (Dickson H.S./Dickson, Tenn.); Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O'Fallon, Mo.); Te'a Cooper (McEachern H.S/Powder Springs, Ga.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Sophie Cunningham (Rock Bridge H.S./Columbia, MO); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.); Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan/Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.); Keiana Gilbert (Chattanooga/Pulaski, Tenn.); Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas); Paris Kea (North Carolina/Greensboro, N.C.); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Louisville/Richmond, Calif.); Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas); Gabbi Ortiz (Oklahoma/Racine, Wis.); Ali Patberg (Columbus North H.S./Columbus, Ind.); Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Destiny Slocum (Mountain View H.S./Meridian, Idaho); Azurá Stevens (Duke/Raleigh, N.C.); Shakayla Thomas (Florida State/Sylacauga, Ala.); Mikayla Venson (Virginia/Arlington, Va.); Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep/Orlando, Fla.); Chatrice White (Illinois/Shelby, Neb.); Gabby Williams (Connecticut/Sparks, Nev.); Anna Wilson (Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.) and A'ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.).
The 13 USA U19 trials athletes who recently completed their freshman year of college also may be considered for the 2015 USA Pan American Games and USA World University Games teams. Those athletes include: Butts, Flaherty, Gilbert, Jennings, Kea, Moore, Ortiz, Stephens, Thomas, Venson, White, Williams and A'ja Wilson. Trials for those two teams will take place on the same dates, but at different times, as the USA U19 World Championship Team Trials.
Jennings, of Madison, Ala., was named to 2015 All-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team after averaging 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game off the bench. In league play, she upped her averages to 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The 6-2 forward scored in 29 of UK's 34 games, and had back-to-back 20-point games after netting 27 vs. Tennessee State and 21 vs. Alabama. She became the first UK freshman to accomplish that feat since A'dia Mathies in 2010.
Camara is a 6-2 post player from New York City who is rated the No. 2 power forward by All-Star Girls Report and the ninth-best post player in the country by ESPN.com. In 2014, she averaged 12.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in helping lead Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., to a 19-3 finish. Batouly was named 2014 All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League First Team and was a second-team NJ Prep A All-State selection. She also earned a spot on the 2014 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Trails roster. She excels off the court as well as she was elected vice chair of Blair Academy's student government council as a junior and was a representative on the student council as a sophomore. Also during her sophomore season, she was named runner-up for the annual Blair Academy Public Speaking Contest. She serves as a head tour guide for the Blair Academy admissions office.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19 years old or younger. The 16 teams will be seeded following the July 18-21 preliminary play and advance to the knockout phase with the round of 16 on July 22. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 24, semifinals are on July 25 and the tournament will end with the medal games on July 26.
Drawn into Group B, the USA will open play against Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist) on July 18, face China (FIBA Asia gold medalist) on July 19 and cap preliminary round play on July 21 against Egypt (FIBA Africa silver medalist).
Drawn into Group A for the preliminary round were host Russia (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Argentina (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), the Netherlands (FIBA Europe sixth place) and Japan (FIBA Asia fourth place); Group C consists of Belgium (FIBA Europe fifth place), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and Mali (FIBA Africa gold medalist); while Group D includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe fourth place) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).
First held in 1985 and known as the FIBA Junior World Championship through 2001, the U19 World Championship features the world's top players who are 19 years old or younger. Held every four years through 2005, FIBA now holds U19 World Championships every two years.
USA women's teams are 66-12 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing a fifth-consecutive gold in 2013 with a 9-0 record. In all, the USA own a record six gold medals and one bronze medal and have stood on the podium in each of the past seven FIBA U19 World Championships.
Noteable players to represent the U.S. include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Breanna Stewart (2011 and 2013); and Diana Taurasi (2001).
Chaired by Jim Foster (Chattanooga), the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee also includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California) and Joi Williams (UCF); and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
USA Basketball men's and women's teams between 2012-14 compiled a spectacular 122-4 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit, and posted a 65-8 win-loss record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas 3x3 competitions.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's FIBA World Cup and women's FIBA World Championship; men's and women's FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Championship; the FIBA 3x3 Women's U18 World Championship; and the women's Youth Olympic Games. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world-ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Website of USA Basketball at usab.com, and connect with us on facebook/usabasketball, twitter/usabasketball, youtube/usab, plus.google/+usabasketball and instagram.com/usabasketball.
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