NORMAN, Okla. Oklahoma junior center Courtney Paris is a finalist for the USA U21 World Championships Team, as announced by USA Basketball on Sunday afternoon.
Paris will pull double duty for the Red, White and Blue. She is currently a member of the USA Senior National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship in September.
She will also try out for the 12-member U21 Team along with 13 other athletes from June 12-16 in Colorado Springs. The USA will look to defend its world title in this age group, open to athletes 21-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1986), at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, held this year June 29-July 8 in Moscow, Russia.
Ashley Paris, who was at the tryouts in Colorado Springs this weekend, was not named as a finalist for the U21 or Pan American Games teams. Incoming freshman Danielle Robinson was also trying out for the U19 Championship but did not get selected as a finalist.
The 13 other athletes in contention for a spot on the final 12-member USA U21 National Team include: Charel Allen (Notre Dame / Monessen, Pa.); Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin / Port Wing, Wis.); DeWanna Bonner (Auburn / Fairfield, Ala.); Essence Carson (Rutgers / Paterson, N.J.); Laura Harper (Maryland / Elkins Park, Pa.); Ashley Houts (Georgia / Trenton, Ga.); Amy Jaeschke (New Trier H.S./Wilmette, Ill.); Crystal Langhorne (Maryland / Willingboro, N.J.); Marscilla Packer (Ohio State / Pickerington, Ohio); Kia Vaughn (Rutgers / Bronx, N.Y.); Abby Waner (Duke / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Candice Wiggins (Stanford / San Diego, Calif.); and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton (Purdue / Naperville, Ill.).
Included among the finalists are seven who helped the U.S. qualify for the FIBA U21 World Championship and a total of nine who have won gold medals at international competition. The seven athletes who return from the 2006 USA U20 National Team that captured the gold medal in Mexico City, Mexico, include Anderson, Bonner, Carson, Packer, Paris, Vaughn and Wisdom-Hylton. In 2005 Anderson, Carson, Crystal Langhorne, Courtney Paris, Waner and Wiggins captured the gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship. Prior to the U19 Worlds, that group also won the 2005 International Sports Invitational gold medal. In 2004 Carson, Harper, Paris, Waner and Wiggins started their age group off on the right foot by sweeping the competition at the 2004 FIBA Americas U18 Championship to collect the gold medal. Getting their start in a USA Basketball uniform at the 2004 USA Youth Development Festival were Paris, Vaughn and Waner; while Carson, Harper, Langhorne, Packer, Wiggins and Wisdom-Hylton all competed in the 2003 USA Youth Development Festival.