COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 25) – Four student-athletes with BIG EAST ties have been named to the US U-19 World Championship Team. Three players have UConn ties, including sophomores Stephanie Dolson and Bria Hartley. Incoming UConn freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also is a member of the squad. Incoming Rutgers freshman Betnijah Laney rounds out the league contingent.
“I think this team is great, I’m really excited,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “I think the committee did a great job. I know it wasn’t easy to pick, because we had so many talented players here. We have a really nice mix of experienced USA Basketball players, a few college players, and then some new guys who I think will be really hungry to make this USA Basketball team. I think it’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to working with them next week.”
Trials were held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The USA U19 team finalists will reconvene on June 1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as part of the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase. The USA will train for four days before facing the Brazil U19 National Team on June 5 (12:30 p.m. EDT). The game will be televised on ESPNU and also shown online at ESPN3.com. Following the USA’s game against Brazil, the final 12-member team will be announced.
Following the USA’s June 1-5 training camp, the 12-member squad will reassemble July 11-15 for training at the USOTC, before the team travels to Chile for its final preparations.
As the winner of the past three U19 World Championships, the USA will look to defend its title at the 2011 U19 Worlds, hosted by Chile from July 21-31 in Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas. The USA has been drawn into Group B for preliminary round play and will tip-off against Japan on July 21 (12:30 p.m. EDT), face Russia on July 22 (12:30 p.m. EDT) and close the first round against Argentina on July 23 (3:30 p.m. EDT). The second round will be played July 25-27, quarterfinals are slated for July 29, semifinals will be held on July 30 and the finals are scheduled for July 31.
Only U.S. citizens who are 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1992) are eligible for the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team.
Finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president for Division I women’s basketball. The committee includes NCAA appointees Joanne Boyle (University of Virginia), Coquese Washington (Penn State University) and Connie Yori (University of Nebraska), as well as athlete representative Beth Cunningham (Virginia Commonwealth University, 1999 USA Pan American Games Team member).
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years from 1985 through 2005. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every other year. USA women's teams are 49-11 all-time in U19/Junior World championships, most recently capturing a third consecutive gold with an 8-1 record in 2009.