COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Basketball announced Sunday evening that Michigan State sophomore Allyssa DeHaan is one of 16 athletes that have been selected as finalists for the 2007 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team following the May 17-20 USA Junior National Team Trials. The trials featured 36 athletes battling to secure a finalist nod. The selections were made by the USA Women's Basketball Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball. The U19 finalists will reconvene in Washington, D.C. on July 12th to train prior to departing for Europe on July 17. The roster will eventually be trimmed to 12 players.
"The committee had a very tough assignment in having to select three teams from a group of 81 girls in just a few days," said USA U19 World Championship Team and DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno. "I think they did an excellent job naming the U19 finalists. They gave us a solid mix of talent and skill from which I think we can create a very strong, competitive team.
"I think this team will have great versatility. We have good size, we have great quickness, and we're going to have the ability to defend effectively and create a very strong, exciting running game. We have a very positive inside versus outside balance.
"When we get back to training camp, our focus will be defense. We have to defend in order to create offense. Obviously we also have to be able execute in the half court against whatever defenses they throw at us. In a nut shell, we have to be able to defend and rebound to create open court opportunities and we have to be able to execute in the half court.
Bruno will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Cynthia Cooper of Prairie View A&M University (Texas) and Carol Owens of Northern Illinois University.
Still in contention for one of 12 roster spots as a finalist for the U19 World Championship team are: Jayne Appel (Stanford/Pleasant Hill, Calif.); Victoria Baugh (Sacramento H.S./Sacramento, Calif.); Angie Bjorklund (University H.S./Spokane, Wash.); Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State/Grandville, Mich.); Elena Delle Donne (Ursuline Academy/Wilmington, Del.); Amy Jaeschke (New Trier H.S./Wilmette, Ill.); Jantel Lavender (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio); Melissa Lechlitner (Notre Dame/ Mishawaka, Ind.); Demauria Liles (Gulf Coast Community College/Suitland, Md.); 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.); Khadijah Rushdan (St. Elizabeth H.S./Wilmington, Del.); Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S./Fairfax, Va.); Krystal Thomas (The First Academy/Orlando, Fla.); and Monica Wright (Virginia/ Woodbridge, Va.).
The finalists roster includes 12 USA Basketball veterans. Appel, Baugh, Lavender, Lucas, Moore, Pedersen and Rushdan helped the USA to gold as a member of the 2006 squad that captured a perfect 4-0 record at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Four also attended the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials, including Delle Donne, Jaeschke, Jasmine Thomas, and Wright; and three donned a USA jersey at the 2005 Youth Development Festival, including Appel, Liles and Wright.
Appel, DeHaan, Lechlitner, Liles, and Wright will be college sophomores; Baugh, Bjorklund, Jaeschke, Lavender, Lucas, Moore, Pedersen, Rushdan, Jasmine Thomas and Krystal Thomas will be college freshman; and Delle Donne will be a high school senior in 2007-08.
Of the athletes who competed at the college level in 2006-07, four earned postseason conference honors. Appel was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year; DeHaan captured Big Ten Freshman of the Year, All-Big Ten second team and All-Big Ten Defensive Team honors; Lechlitner was selected to the Big East All-Freshman team; and Wright was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.
Of the 10 females who completed their high school careers in 2006-07, all 10 were recognized by USA Today, including the 2007 USA Today, Naismith and Gatorade Girls High School Player of the Year, Moore. Joining Moore on the All-USA first team were Baugh, Bjorklund and Jasmine Thomas; included on the second team were Lavender, Lucas, Pedersen and Krystal Thomas; and listed on the third team were Delle Donne and Rushdan.
Named to the Parade Magazine All-America first team were Baugh, Bjorklund, Delle Donne, Lavender, Lucas, Moore, Pedersen, Jasmine Thomas, Krystal Thomas and Rushdan; and listed on the second team was Jaeschke.
Representing the East Team at the 2007 McDonald's All-America Game were Lavender, Moore, Rushdan, Jasmine Thomas and Krystal Thomas; while Baugh, Bjorklund, Jaeschke, Lucas and Pedersen played for the West squad.
Gatorade honored eight trials participants as a State Player of the Year, including Bjorklund (Washington), Lavender (Ohio), Lucas (Nevada), Moore (Georgia), Pedersen (Arizona), Rushdan (Delaware), Jasmine Thomas (Virginia) and Krystal Thomas (Florida).
2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women
Sixteen countries will compete in the U19 World Championship for Women that will be held July 26-Aug. 5 in Bratislava, Slovakia. FIBA announced on March 6 the draw for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship For Women, and the USA has been placed in Group B, along with China, Ivory Coast and Lithuania.
The USA qualified for the 2007 U19 World Championships after Bruno, as the USA's head coach, led the U18 squad to a 4-0 slate and gold medal at the zone qualifier, the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women, an event hosted by USA Basketball at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament is held every four years and was first held in 1985. USA women's teams are 32-10 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing gold with an 8-0 record most recently in 2005.