June 11, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. -- Courtney Paris is packing her bags again.
The 2007 AP Player of the Year is about to begin the busiest summer and fall of her basketball career.
If Courtney Paris makes the 2007 USA Basketball Women’s U21 World Championship Team this week, she will spend the next month of her summer playing hoops in three different countries.
This comes prior to her eventual participation with the USA Women’s Senior National Team in September.
Paris is the only known player in USA Basketball history to play with the Senior National Team and with her age group squad during the same summer.
I am totally committed to USA Basketball,” said Paris. “If they invite me, I am accepting. If they want me to pull double duty, triple duty, whatever it may be, I am game. It is very important to me.
“I really wanted to play with my age group. Many of those girls have been my summer teammates for the last three years and I owe it to them and USA to be a part of that group.”
Paris is so committed she actually asked to play with 2007 Pan American Games Team that will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 20-24.
The USA Basketball committee and assistant executive director Carol Callan kindly told Paris she should take some time off.
But not too much.
The USA U21 Team will open training camp in Colorado Springs on Tuesday, June 12 and will send a 12-member squad to France on June 16.
The team will train and play in a tournament in Antibes, France June 18-25 and then travel to Moscow, Russia for final preparations on June 27 and 28.
The U21 World Championships get underway June 29 and run through July 8.
Paris has won a gold medal each of the last three summers with USA basketball. She has traveled to Mexico, Tunisia, Hungary and Italy as part of the Red, White and Blue contingent.
With the U20 World Championship Team last summer, Paris led the US in scoring and rebounding with averages of 14.2 and 8.4, respectively.
Her participation with the U21 World Championship Team precedes involvement with USA Women’s Senior National Team.
The Senior National Team will reconvene in early September at a site to be determined to begin preparations for the FIBA Americas Championship 2007. Slated for Sept. 25-29 in Valdivia, Chile, not only is a gold medal on the line at the FIBA Americas tournament, the winner also will receive a berth in the 2008 Olympics. In addition to the USA, teams participating in the FIBA Americas Championship 2007 will be Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico. Should the United States not return home from Chile with the gold medal, there will be one final chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2008 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated for June 9-15 at a site TBD.
U21 Team Schedule
June 12-15 - Team training in Colorado Springs (during which time the final 12-member team will be selected)
June 16 - Depart USA
June 17 - Arrive in Antibes, France
June 18-25 - Team training & tournament in Antibes, France
June 26 - Travel to Moscow
June 27-28 - Final training
June 29-July 8 - 2007 FIBA Women’s U21 World Championship