COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Following six trials sessions from May 24-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 12-member 2014 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team was announced on Monday evening. The team, which was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, will compete in the USA Basketball-hosted 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the USOTC from Aug. 6-10.
Headlining the USA squad is a trio of USA Basketball gold medalists, including Receé Caldwell (Homeschooled/San Antonio, Texas); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S/Pearland, Texas) and A'ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./Hopkins, S.C.).
Joining their first USA Basketball team are: Ariel Atkins (Duncanville H.S./Duncanville, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O'Fallon, Mo.); Paris Kea (Greensboro Page H.S./Greensboro, N.C.); Marina Mabrey (Manasquan H.S./Manasquan, N.J.); Teaira McCowan (Brenham H.S./Brenham, Texas); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Salesian H.S./Richmond, Calif.); Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.); and Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep School/Ocoee, Fla.).
University of South Carolina head coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley, who also will serve as an assistant to the 2014 USA World Championship Team, is the 2014 USA U18 National Team head coach. Joining Staley on the USA U18 team sideline as assistants are collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico (University of Michigan) and Jeff Walz (University of Louisville).
"We have a lot of strengths on this team," said Jim Foster, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach and chair of the USA Junior National Team Committee. "We have some returning players from international competition and a nice blend of size and athleticism. This is a team the committee feels can be very representative of USA Basketball and the success we've had in the past."
"I think it's a great team," said Staley, who in addition to her three Olympic gold medals as an athlete aided the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team to gold as an assistant coach. "To be quite honest, it was a great trials. It's unfortunate that we couldn't take all 29 players, because they all brought something different to the table and could have very easily been on this basketball team. But, the 12 that they picked are very, very talented. They're very versatile. I think they'll perform well in our tournament, and I'm looking forward to working with them on a daily basis."