Colorado Springs--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).
Paris Kea (Greensboro Page H.S. / Greensboro, N.C.)
What did it feel like when you heard your name called as a member of the team?
It felt amazing. This is my first big event. Being injured freshman and sophomore year, tough junior year, and senior year has been amazing. To make a USA Basketball team is amazing.
Did you feel like you had played well at trials?
I wasn't nervous. I believe I did okay in the first session. As it progressed, I kind of lost a lot of energy and was tired. No excuses though. I don't think I played my absolute best, but I tried to come out here hard in the last session.
What does it mean to you to represent the USA?
It means a lot. I know it definitely means a lot to my family, a lot of kids back home that look up to me. It means a lot. Just finishing it, actually, means a lot.