COLORADO SPRINGS (FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) – Five of the players who helped the United States qualify for the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women have claimed spots in the team that will compete at the big event in Thailand later this month.
Kelsey Bone, Skylar Diggins, Kelly Faris, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Samantha Prahalis all helped the USA clinch a spot at the Bangkok tournament last year when they captured a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Each has been named in the squad for Thailand.
In addition, USA boss Carol Owens will coach LaSondra Barrett, Layshia Clarendon, Shenise Johnson, C'eira Ricketts, Chay Shegog, Taber Spani and Destiny Williams.
"I think this team offers multiple offensive weapons and has a lot of versatility," Owens said.
"They are a great group of young ladies that will represent our country with class.
“I am extremely excited. I am really looking forward to seeing the staff and the team and get going. We have a special group and I am can't wait to work with them.”
Owens will hold practices at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., from July 9 to 16 before leaving for Bangkok where the Americans will attempt to defend their title.
Once in southeast Asia, the United States will compete in Group D with China, Mali and Spain. The tournament tips off on July 23 and runs until August 2.
“Overall I would like to have an intense and productive training camp,” Owens said.
“Three things I would like to accomplish are: build team chemistry, establish our offensive and defensive philosophy and prepare the team for the level of competition we will be facing in Bangkok.”
Sarah Boothe and Shawnice Wilson were named as finalists for the USA U19 squad on May 17 but both withdrew due to injuries.
The United States went a perfect 9-0 in rolling to the gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.