COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Michigan State center Allyssa DeHaan is one of 37 participants who have been invited to the 2007 USA Basketball women's junior national team trials held May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Following the trials, finalists will be named for the 12-member USA Basketball U19 Team that will play in the U19 World Championship for Women, held July 26-August 5 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball.
DeHaan, who will be a sophomore in 2007-08, had one of the most dominant freshman seasons in Big Ten history. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year earned spots on the All-Big Ten Second Team and the All-Big Ten Defensive Team, as well as the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
As shot-blockers enter Division I in the future, their path to the record book will no doubt be blocked by DeHaan, as the MSU freshman etched her name into the NCAA record book with 145 rejections as a freshman. She set the NCAA Division I record for blocked shots by a rookie, as she passed Courtney Paris of Oklahoma, who had 119 blocks in 2005-06. She also set the NCAA Division I freshman blocked shot average, as her 4.39 average was well ahead of Kathy Gilbert of Columbia's pace of 4.04 rejections per game in 1988.
After she smashed the school's single-season blocks record in just 12 games, the 6-9 center set her sights on the Big Ten record, passing Trish Andrew of Michigan's mark of 136 in 31 games, breaking the mark against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament on March 4. Her 69 blocks during Big Ten regular-season games was the third-best mark in school history, 27 behind Trish Andrew's mark of 96 set in 1991-92.
DeHaan was also an offensive threat, as she became just the fourth freshman in school history to reach 300 points and 200 rebounds. She set Michigan State's freshman record with 411 points, and her 247 rebounds ranked third. She earned two Big Ten Player of the Week honors, thanks to a 28-point game against Rhode Island on Nov. 29 and a 25-point, eight-rebound game at Ohio State on Feb. 18 against three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jessica Davenport. She is the Spartans' first Big Ten Freshman of the Year since Liz Shimek and Lindsay Bowen shared the award for the 2002-03 season.
"Our expectations in the USA are to win gold, and to embrace the process of hard work, ultra competitiveness and total team play necessary to achieve that goal," said USA U19 World Championship Team and DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno. "From this pool of 37 players invited to trials, we definitely have the talent to achieve that goal.
"I'm very excited to see how the players that won gold last year (with the U18 Team) have improved. Now that they have experienced a year of USA Basketball competition, I'm looking forward to observing their dedication to the USA program. And I'm unbelievably excited to see so many new additions, many of whom have had a year of college seasoning."
Bruno will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Cynthia Cooper of Prairie View A&M University (Texas) and Carol Owens of Northern Illinois University.
Serving as trials court coaches are Jacques Curtis of Shaw University (N.C.), Donnita Drain of Langston University (Okla.) and Narleski Wyrick of Southwestern Christian College (Texas).
Returning from the 2006 squad that captured a perfect 4-0 record and the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship are: Jayne Appel (Stanford/Pleasant Hill, Calif.); Vicky Baugh (Sacramento H.S./Sacramento, Calif.); Kelley Cain (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Atlanta, Ga.); Nikitta Gartrell (North Carolina State/Atlanta, Ga.); Jantel Lavender (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio); Italee Lucas (Centennial H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Maya Moore (Collins Hill H.S./Lawrenceville, Ga.); Kayla Pedersen (Red Mountain H.S./Fountain Hills, Ariz.); Brittainey Raven (Texas/Fort Worth, Texas); and Khadijah Rushdan (St. Elizabeth H.S./Wilmington, Del.).
The 27 additional invitees include: Ashley Barlow (Notre Dame/Indianapolis, Ind.); Angie Bjorklund (University H.S./Spokane, Wash.); Jessica Breland (North Carolina/Kelford, N.C.); Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State/Grandville, Mich.); Elena Delle Donne (Ursuline Academy/Wilmington, Del.); Lorin Dixon (Christ the King H.S./Middle Village, N.Y.); Allison Hightower (Louisiana State/Arlington, Texas); Quanitra Hollingsworth (Virginia Commonwealth/Chesapeake, Va.); Alison Jackson (Fenwick H.S./Oak Park, Ill.); Amy Jaeschke (New Trier H.S./Wilmette, Ill.); Brittany Johnson (East Richland H.S./Olney, Ill.); Melissa Lechlitner (Notre Dame/ Mishawaka, Ind.); Demauria Liles (Gulf Coast Community College/Suitland, Md.); Taylor Lilley (Oregon/ Stevenson Ranch, Calif.); Christy Marshall (Georgia/Savannah, Ga.); Drey Mingo (Marist School/Atlanta, Ga.); Jacinta Monroe (Florida State/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); Porsha Phillips (Louisiana State/Stone Mountain, Ga.); Jeanette Pohlen (Brea Olinda H.S./Brea, Calif.); Danielle Robinson (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.); Sydney Smallbone (St. Joseph's H.S./Granger, Ind.); Marah Strickland (Towson Catholic H.S./Mt. Airy, Md.); Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S./Fairfax, Va.); Krystal Thomas (The First Academy/Orlando, Fla.); Natasha Vital (California/Stockton, Calif.); Danielle Wilson (Baylor/Bay Shore, N.Y.); and Monica Wright (Virginia/ Woodbridge, Va.).
In all, 20 athletes recently completed their final year of high school eligibility, 16 will be college sophomores in 2007-08 and one will be a college junior in the fall. The 17 collegiate athletes hail from 15 schools and eight different conferences. While Hollingsworth will be a college junior in 2007-08, Appel, Barlow, Breland, DeHaan, Gartrell, Hightower, Lechlitner, Liles, Lilley, Marshall, Monroe, Phillips, Raven, Vital, Wilson and Wright will be college sophomores.
Among the 26 invitees with previous USA Basketball experience, 15 attended in the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials, including Breland, Delle Donne, Hightower, Hollingsworth, Jackson, Jaeschke, Johnson, Marshall, Mingo, Phillips, Robinson, Smallbone, Jasmine Thomas, Wilson and Wright.
Of the 17 athletes who competed at the college level in 2006-07, 12 earned postseason conference honors. Wright was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and Monroe was selected to the ACC All-Freshman team; Barlow and Lechlitner were selected to the Big East All-Freshman team; Hollingsworth received All-CAA second team honors; Appel was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Vital listed on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team and Lilley earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention; the SEC All-Freshman team included Hightower and Marshall, who also was the SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year; DeHaan captured Big Ten Freshman of the Year, All-Big Ten second team and All-Big Ten Defensive Team honors; and Wilson was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.
Born Jan. 7, 1988, Strickland is the oldest athlete, while Jasmine Thomas, born Sept. 30, 1989, is the youngest. At 5-4 Lorin Dixon is the shortest in the group, and the 6-9 DeHaan is the tallest.