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May 9, 2005

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With 57 top American players accepting invitations to the 2005 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials, there will be no shortage of talent or players with USA Basketball experience.

The 2005 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials are set to take place May 19-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Invitations to the Trials were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Collegiate Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice-president for Division I women’s basketball.

Following the four-day Trials the Collegiate Committee will announce finalists for the 12-member 2005 USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Team) and the 12-member USA World University Games Team.

The 2005 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials begin Thursday, May 19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (all times MDT). Sessions for the U19 team candidates will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, and 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Trials sessions for the World University Games team candidates will be held 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, and from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. The Trials will conclude on Sunday, May 22 with a session from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Finalists for both the USA U19 and World University Games squads will be announced following the May 22 session. All Trials sessions will be held in Sports Center II.

Of the expected 57 Trials participants, of which 37 boast of prior USA Basketball experience, 33 are only eligible, because of age, for selection to the USA World University Games Team; 13 trials participants who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1986 (19-years-old or younger) and have completed at least one year of college eligibility are eligible for selection to either the USA U19 or the USA World University Games teams; while the remaining 11 invitees who graduate from high school in 2005 and are born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, are eligible for only the USA U19 World Championship Team. Trials invitees eligible for only the World University Games Team include: Seimone Augustus (LSU / Baton Rouge, La.); Alison Bales (Duke / Dayton, Ohio); Kim Beck (George Washington / Fairburn, Ga.); Nikki Blue (UCLA / Bakersfield, Calif.); Lindsay Bowen (Michigan State / Dansville, Mich.); Jazz Covington (Louisville / Adel, Ga.); Monique Currie (Duke / Washington, D.C.); Jessica Davenport (Ohio State / Columbus, Ohio); Dee Davis (Vanderbilt / Cincinnati, Ohio); Candice Dupree (Temple / Tampa, Fla.); Megan Duffy (Notre Dame / Dayton, Ohio); Sylvia Fowles (LSU / Miami, Fla.); Erin Grant (Texas Tech / Arlington, Texas); Tiffany Green (Old Dominion / Cheaspeake, Va.); Kiera Hardy (Nebraska / Kansas City, Mo.); Brandie Hoskins (Ohio State / Dayton, Ohio); Tiffany Jackson (Texas / Dallas, Texas); Helen Johnson (Gulf Coast C.C. / Milwaukee, Wis.); Ivory Latta (North Carolina / McConnells, S.C.); Camille Little (North Carolina / Winston-Salem, N.C.); Shaquina Mosley (Central Arizona College / Lancaster, Calif.); Eshaya Murphy (USC / Van Nuys, Calif.): Shawntinice Polk (Arizona / Hanford, Calif.); Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers / Chicago, Ill.); Armintie Price (Mississippi / Blue Mountain, Miss.); Noelle Quinn (UCLA / Los Angeles, Calif.): Leah Rush (Oklahoma / Amarillo, Texas); Liz Shimek (Michigan State / Empire, Mich.); Brooke Smith (Stanford / San Anselmo, Calif.); Wanisha Smith (Duke / Upper Marlboro, Md.); Tiffany Stansbury (North Carolina State / Philadelphia, Pa.); Emily Westerberg (Arizona State / Greenacres, Wash.); and Lisa Willis (UCLA / Long Beach, Calif.).

Accepting invites to the 2005 Trials and eligible for selection for either USA team are: Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin / Port Wing, WI); Nicky Anosike (Tennessee / Staten Island, N.Y.); Essence Carson (Rutgers / Paterson, N.J.); Quianna Chaney (LSU / Baton Rouge, La.); Crystal Langhorne (Maryland / Willingboro, N.J.); Erlana Larkins (North Carolina / Riviera Beach, Fla.); Camille LeNoir (USC / Los Angeles, Calif.); Samantha Mahoney (Kentucky / West Bloomfield, Mich.); Lindsey Pluimer (UCLA / San Clemente, Calif.); Erica White (LSU / Jacksonville, Fla.); Khadijah Whittington (North Carolina State / Roanoke, Va.); Candice Wiggins (Stanford / Poway, Calif.); and Sharnee’ Zoll (Virginia / Philadelphia, Pa.).

Eligible for selection for only the USA U19 World Championship Team are: Erika Arriaran (Norco High School / Norco, Calif); Keshonda Carrier (LaGrange High School / Lake Charles, La.); Marissa Coleman (St. Johns College High School / Cheltenham, Md.); Renee Montgomery (South Charleston High School / St. Albans, W.V.); Ashley Paris (Piedmont High School / Piedmont, Calif.); Courtney Paris (Piedmont High School / Piedmont, Calif.); Kristi Toliver (Harrison High School / Harrison, Va.); Ashlee Trebilcock (Hart High School / Santa Clarita, Calif.); Abby Waner (Thunder Ridge High School / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Earnesia Williams (Sapulpa High School / Sapulpa, Okla.); and Christina Wirth (Seton Catholic High School / Mesa, Ariz.).

Of the 37 players possessing prior USA Basketball experience, eight of the 12 members who made up the 2004 USA U19 World Championship Qualifying Team that captured gold are back, including — Carson, Coleman, Larkins, Courtney Paris, Waner, Wiggins and Wirth. Of the eight, Courtney Paris is the leading scorer among the returners having averaged a team second best 15.8 ppg. and a team leading 9.0 rpg. Wiggins averaged 12.4 ppg. and 4.8 rpg.; Waner tossed in 12.0 ppg. and 3.8 assists; Larkins accounted for 9.2 ppg. and 6.0 rpg.; Carson scored 8.7 ppg.; Coleman added 8.2 ppg.; Arrian posted 7.4 ppg. and 4.2 apg.; and Wirth contributed 1.8 ppg.

Additionally, Augustus, Pondexter and Polk were members of the 2003 USA World Championship For Young Women Team that finished 7-1 and captured the world title. Augustus started all eight games and averaged a team best 10.6 ppg. and 3.8 rpg., while shooting 59.1 percent from the field. Augustus was named the Most Valuable Player of the `03 FIBA World Championship For Young Women, and later was honored by USA Basketball as its 2003 Female Athlete of the Year. Polk accounted for 8.4 ppg. and 5.1 rpg. in 2003, while Pondexter started all eight games and recorded 5.3 ppg. and 1.0 apg.

Currie and Pondexter were teammates on the 2001 Junior World Championship Team that finished 6-1 and won bronze. Pondexter averaged a team third best 11.0 ppg. and 2.6 rpg., while Currie averaged 3.2 ppg. and 2.2 rpg. Pondexter returned the following summer and played on the gold medal winning 2002 World Championship For Young Women Team, and averaged 8.8 ppg., 2.5 rpg., and a team leading 6.5 apg.

Additional USA Basketball experience comes in the form of USA Basketball’s annual Women’s Youth Development Festival. 30 of the 57 Trials invitees have participated in the Youth Development Festival.

Players from or committed to attend 32 colleges/universities are involved in the Trials, and a total of six 2005 All-Americans further underscore the strength of the USA candidates. Augustus, Currie and Davenport were all 2005 Associated Press (A.P.) All-American first team choices, while Wiggins earned second team accolades, and Latta and Jackson were third team selections. Additionally, Blue, Bowen, Duffy, Dupree, Fowles, Pondexter and Shimek collected A.P. All-American honorable mention honors.

At the junior college/community college level, Mosley was named by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) as the 2005 Junior College / Community College Player of the Year, and Mosley and Johnson were named to the 2005 JC/CC WBCA All-America First Team.

The Trials group also collected impressive conference honors. Currie earned ACC Player of the Year honors and Langhorne was the ACC Rookie of the Year; Dupree was the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year and Beck was the conference’s Rookie of the Year; Davenport was the Big Ten’s Player of the Year and Anderson was Freshman of the Year; Wiggins swept the Pacific 10 Conference honors for Player and Freshman of the Year; Augustus was the SEC Player of the Year.

At the high school level, Courtney Paris was named the 2005 USA Today Player of the Year and was honored as the Naismith Trophy Female High School Player of the Year, while Parade Magazine and the WBCA selected Arriaran as their Player of the Year, and Gatorade tagged Waner as its National Player of the Year.

2005 FIBA U19 World Championship
Duke University (N.C.) head coach Gail Goestenkors has been selected to lead the 2005 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team, and will be assisted by Hofstra University’s (N.Y.) Felisha Legette-Jack and the University of Mississippi’s Carol Ross.

Formerly known as the Women’s Junior World Championship Team, the USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team secured its 2005 tournament berth after the 2004 USA team earned a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Women’s Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The U.S. finished a perfect 5-0 and outscored its opponents by a remarkable 81 ppg, while averaging 123 ppg.

Featuring 12 teams, the 2005 FIBA Women’s U19 World Championship is scheduled to run July 15-24 in Hammamet and Tunis, Tunisia. To be eligible for the 2005 team, an athlete must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1986 (19-years-old or younger).

Held every four years since 1985, the U.S. won bronze at the last FIBA Women’s Junior World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic in 2001, and claimed the gold in 1997 in Brazil .

2005 World University Games
Kathy Delaney-Smith of Harvard University (Mass.) has been named head coach of the 2005 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team, and Pokey Chatman from Louisiana State University and Cathy Inglese of Boston College (Mass.) have been named as assistant coaches.

The World University Games, held every two years and organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), is a multi-sport competition open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28 (born between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1987), who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university. The 2005 World University Games will be held Aug. 11-21 in Imzir, Turkey. A total of 21 teams will compete in the 2005 Women’s World University Games. The teams have been divided into four preliminary pools, three pools consisting of five teams and one pool consisting of six teams. The U.S. is in Pool B with China, Czech Republic, Poland, and South Africa.

The USA women have enjoyed outstanding success in the World University Games and have earned 12 medals in 13 appearances, including five golds, six silvers and one bronze medal, and have compiled an overall record of 75-15 (.833 winning percentage) since beginning World University Games play in 1973. USA Basketball last sent a squad to the 2001 World University Games, where the U.S. ran off to a 7-1 record and clinched the gold medal in Beijing, China. USA Basketball did not send a team to the last World University Games in 2003.

USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a non-profit 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 United States 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 basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

Serving since January 2001 as USA Basketball’s Executive Director is Jim Tooley. Tooley, who has been with USA Basketball since 1993, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations and business operations.

USA Basketball is an organization made up of associations. Current USA Basketball active members include the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU); Continental Basketball Association (CBA); National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); National Basketball Association (NBA); National Basketball Development League (NBDL); National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA); National Pro-Am City League Association (NPACLA); National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA); United States Armed Forces; USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF); Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA); and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). These 15 member organizations have representation on USA Basketball’s Board of Directors and various committees, and ultimately determine how USA Basketball operates.

During the 2001-2004 quadrennium, over 950 men and women participated in USA Basketball, including the now annual USA Basketball men’s and women’s Youth Development Festivals, USA Basketball Trials, and USA Basketball teams. Competing in 20 major international events between 2001-2004, the USA won medals an astounding 17 times, including gold or top finishes 12 times, silver once and bronze medals four times, and USA Basketball teams compiled a 163-22 win-loss record for an 88.1 winning percentage during the 2001-2004 quadrennium.

The competitions in which USA teams regularly compete include the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games, World University Games, World Championship for Young Men/Women, Junior World Championships, Hoop Summit and Youth Development Festivals.

USA Basketball also sanctions U.S. basketball team tours of foreign countries and foreign basketball team tours of the U.S., as well as oversees the certification of FIBA and USA Basketball officials and the assignment of those officials to international competitions.