USA U17 Trials Roster

USA U17 Trials Roster
USA U17 Trials RosterLauren Cox

USA Basketball has opened up the U17 national team trials to 162 participants for 2014. *Photo by Chris Hansen.

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With the announcement yesterday of an additional 123 applicant athletes, the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials will feature a total of 162 high school players age 17 years old or younger taking part in skills and trials sessions from May 22-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The 123 applicant athletes will join 39 previously announced invited athletes who accepted invitations to attend trials from the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. Only U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, are eligible for this team, and the committee is expected to name the 12-member roster for the 2014 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team on May 26.

“We are very excited to welcome these athletes to Colorado Springs for trials, and we look forward to a weekend full of great basketball, as well as off the court instruction on topics such as performance and teamwork,” said Carol Callan, committee chair and USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director. “The interest we have from this age group is a testament to the state of women’s basketball in our country. Our goal for this weekend is that each player benefits from the time she spends with us.”

The 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team will be led by head coach Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose Cagers AAU, Calif.) and assistant coaches Mary Coyle Klinger (Rutgers Preparatory School, N.J.) and Brian Robinson (Bishop McGuinness H.S./Stealers AAU, N.C.).

The complete roster for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials can be found at usab.com.


'16 ELITE 25 guard Sabrina Ionescu.
*Photo by Chris Hansen.

Overall, the 162 players include 52 athletes who will graduate high school in 2015, 77 players set to graduate in 2016, 24 from the high school class of 2017, seven players from the class of 2018 and one player apiece from the class of 2019 and 2020.

The trials roster features players from 35 states, including 20 from Texas; 17 from California; 12 from Georgia; eight from Colorado and Illinois; seven from Maryland and New York; six from Oklahoma and Washington; five from Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania; four from Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia; three from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Missouri and Wisconsin; two each from Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Nevada and Tennessee; and one player apiece from Alaska, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina and Wyoming. Additionally, Jada Nneji (Cardinal Carter Catholic H.S.) resides in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

At 6-foot-9, Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas) is the tallest, and standing 5-foot-4, Rekha Berry (McGill-Toolen Catholic H.S./Mobile, Ala.), Kaela Hilaire (Floral Park Memorial H.S./Floral Park, N.Y.), Autumn Powell (Window Rock H.S./Window Rock, Ariz.) and Caitlin Schlesener (Metropolitan Strings Academy/Lawrence, Kan.) are the shortest.

Born on Jan. 11, 1997, Allazia Blockton (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) is the oldest player at trials, while Brianna Ellis (Calvary Christian Academy/Palm Coast, Fla.), born Oct. 17, 2001, is the youngest.

The trials roster also features 15 sets of high school teammates. Brittany Gray (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and sisters Bailey Thomas (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Samantha Thomas (Rochester Hills, Mich.) play together at Marian High School; Taylor Madden (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Zharia McCollum (Bakersfield, Calif.) are at Centennial High School; Leaonna Odom (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) attend Mater Dei High School; Ty Battle (Plainfield, Ill.) and Nicole Ekhomu (Bolingbrook, Ill.) are teammates at Joliet Catholic Academy; Kauaí Bradley (New Lenox, Ill.) and Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) play together at Marian Catholic High School; Erin DeGrate (Waco, Texas) and Calveion Landrum (Waco, Texas) are at La Vega High School; Amber Ramirez (San Antonio, Texas) and Kiana Williams (San Antonia, Texas) attend Wagner High School; Raychel Stanley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Madison Washington (Las Vegas, Nev.) are teammates at Bishop Gorman High School; Desiree Elmore (East Hartford, Conn.) and Kiah Gillespie (Hartford, Conn.) play together at Capital Preparatory Magnet School; Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Sydney Zambrotta (North Babylon, N.Y.) are at Christ the King High School; Kristine Anigwe (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Sabrina Haines (Phoenix, Ariz.) attend Desert Vista High School; Shalexxus Aaron (Kirkland, Wash.) and Te’a Adams (Kirkland, Wash.) are teammates at Juanita High School; Te’a Cooper (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Caliya Robinson (Marietta, Ga.) play together at McEachern High School; Brelynn Hampton-Bey (Toledao, Ohio) and Akienreh Johnson are at Rogers High School; and Liah Davis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Oliana Squires (Colorado Springs, Colo.) attend Sand Creek High School.

Despite their underclassman status, 10 athletes took home Gatorade State Player of the Year honors, including Erin Boley (Elizabethtown H.S./Hodgenville, Ky.), DeJanae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./ Springdale, Md.), Kalani Brown (Salmen H.S./Slidell, La.), Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./ Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Chelsea Dungee (Preston Public School/Okmulgee, Okla.), Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.), Kiah Gillespie (Capital Preparatory Magnet School/Hartford, Conn.), Ruth Hebard (West Valley H.S./Fairbanks, Alaska), Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./ Milwaukee, Wis.) and Samuelson (California).?Samuelson was a finalist for the 2014 Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year, and Durr listed on the Watch List released on Dec. 13, 2013. Additionally, Durr and Samuelson listed on the 2014 USA Today All-USA Girls Basketball first team.

Returning from the 2013 USA Women’s U16 National Team that earned a perfect 5-0 record and gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Cancun, Mexico, which qualified the USA for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, will be tournament MVP Durr, as well as Boykin, Brown, Chassity Carter (Dickson County H.S./Dickson, Tenn.), Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas), Dangerfield, Dungee, Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte H.S./Walnut Creek, Calif.), Mulkey, Taylor Murray (Annapolis Area Christian School/Odenton, Md.), Ogunbowale and Samuelson.

Ogunbowale and Samuelson also claimed gold with the 2013 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team that compiled an 8-1 record to win the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Due to the large number of athletes participating in trials, the players will be divided into two groups, and they will stay in those two groups until after the last trials session on May 23. Roster reductions are not expected to begin until after the first morning session on May 24. ?The 12-member roster for the 2014 USA U17 World Championship team is expected to be announced at 8 a.m. on May 26. All players will return home on May 26.

The 2014 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team will reassemble at the USOTC for training camp June 12-17, before the team departs on June 18 for an exhibition tournament in Nogent sur Seine, France, June 20-22.

From France, the team will travel on June 23 to the Czech Republic for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship that will be played June 28-July 6. Looking to capture its third-straight FIBA U17 World Championship gold medal, the USA was placed into Group D, where it will face China on June 28, France on June 29 and Mali on July 1. Following the preliminary round, all teams will be seeded within their groups and will advance to the Round of 16, which will be played on July 2. Winners of the Round of 16 will advance to the July 4 quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on July 5, and the gold medal game is set for July 6.

The application process for the 2014 USA Women’s U17 trials marks the third time USA Basketball has opened women’s trials to applicant athletes. In fact, 24 of this year’s applicant athletes took part in last year’s 2013 USA Women’s U16 National Team Trials as applicant athletes.

The 2013 USA Women’s U16 National Team Trials this past May began with 124 players before the roster was pared down to 95 players, then 70 and finally 43 athletes before the 12-member roster was announced on May 27. Ionescu and Murray, who were applicant athletes in 2013, went on to be named to the team and helped the USA to a gold medal in the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

The first open trials for this age group was the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials, which saw 115 players take part. While none of the applicant athletes were named to the 2011 USA Women’s U16 National Team, several were invited to the following year’s 2012 USA Women’s U17 National Team Trials, two of whom, Lindsay Allen and Jessica Washington, went on to make the team.

Chaired by Callan, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee includes NFHS appointees Jody Patrick (Flint Hill School, Va.) and Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas.); AAU appointees Bill Larson (North Tartan Basketball AAU, Minn.) and Sherri Pegues (GBL Cal Sparks AAU, Calif.); and athlete representative Yolanda Griffith, a 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist who has played on five USA Basketball teams.

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