COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. In what has become a rite of summer, Ashley and Courtney Paris have once again been invited to potentially represent USA Basketball in international competition. Both Sooners are among the invitees to the 2007 USA Basketball Women's National Team Trials, slated to be held May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Since she is already on the 2007 US Senior National Team, which began training overseas in April, Courtney Paris has requested a waiver and will not attend the trials. Courtney averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in four games with the Senior National Team this spring. She served as a reserve on the squad that was composed of all WNBA players, except for LSU's Sylvia Fowles and Paris.
Courtney has an extensive history with USA Basketball. She played on a national team each of the last three summers and has led those squads to an 18-0 record in sanctioned games. For the last two summers, she has been the leading scorer and rebounder on the U19 and U20 World Championship Teams.
Courtney will resume play with the Senior National Team in September when they train for the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, which will be held Sept. 25-29 in Valdivia, Chile.
For Ashley Paris it marks the third summer of involvement with USA Basketball. Ashley competed for the West Team, along with her sister, in 2004 and was invited to the World Championship Trials last summer (2006).
The Committee is expected to announce two separate groups of approximately 16 finalists for the 2007 USA U21 World Championship Team and the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team on May 20.
Included in the invitees are eight returning players from last summer’s USA Basketball U20 National Team that qualified the USA for the 2007 U21 Worlds include: Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin / Port Wing, Wis.); DeWanna Bonner (Auburn / Fairfield, Ala.); Essence Carson (Rutgers / Paterson, N.J.); Erlana Larkins (North Carolina / Riviera Beach, Fla.); Marscilla Packer (Ohio State / Pickerington, Ohio); Courtney Paris (Oklahoma / Piedmont, Calif.); Kia Vaughn (Rutgers / Bronx, N.Y.); and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton (Purdue / Naperville, Ill.).
Also vying to represent the United States this summer at either the FIBA U21 World Championship or Pan American Games are: Jessica Adair (George Washington / Washington, D.C.); Demetress Adams (South Carolina / Bishopville, S.C.); Matee Ajavon (Rutgers / Newark, N.J.); Charel Allen (Notre Dame / Monessen, Pa.); Alex Anderson (Chattanooga / Stone Mountain, Ga.); Marissa Coleman (Maryland / Cheltenham, Md.); Tanae Davis-Cain (Florida State / Dawson, Ga.); Krystal Ellis (Marquette / Racine, Wis.); Emily Fox (Minnesota / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Mercedes Fox-Griffin (Oregon State / La Jolla, Calif.); A'Quonesia Franklin (Texas A&M / Tyler, Texas); Megan Frazee (Liberty / Xenia, Ohio); Laura Harper (Maryland / Elkins Park, Pa.); Amber Holt (Middle Tennessee / Duluth, Ga.); Alexis Hornbuckle (Tennessee / Charleston, W.Va.); Charde Houston (Connecticut / San Diego, Calif.); Ashley Houts (Georgia / Trenton, Ga.); Tasha Humphrey (Georgia / Gainesville, Ga.); Briann January (Arizona State / Spokane, Wash.); T.J. Jordan (Old Dominion / Portsmouth, Va.); Crystal Kelly (Western Kentucky / Louisville, Ky.); Crystal Langhorne (Maryland / Willingboro, N.J.); Rashanda McCants (North Carolina / Asheville, N.C.); Angel McCoughtry (Louisville / Baltimore, Md.); Nicole Michael (Syracuse / Queens, N.Y.); Britany Miller (Florida State / Tallapoosa, Ga.); Ashley Paris (Oklahoma / Piedmont, Calif.); Allie Quigley (DePaul / Joliet, Ill.); Angel Robinson (Georgia / Marietta, Ga.); Dominic Seals (South Plains / Dallas, Texas); Takia Starks (Texas A&M / Houston, Texas); Mel Thomas (Connecticut / Cincinnati, Ohio); Kirsten Thompson (Arizona State / Monroe, Wash.); Ashley Walker (California / Modesto, Calif.); Abby Waner (Duke / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Candice Wiggins (Stanford / San Diego, Calif.); and Earnesia Williams (Texas / Sapulpa, Okla.).
Briann January, Thompson and Waner will not attend Trials, and have waivers are under consideration by the Committee.
Franklin, Holt, Hornbuckle, Humphrey and Thomas, who are all over 21, are eligible only for the USA Pan American Games Team.
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. Duke University (N.C.) head coach Joanne McCallie returns as the USA’s head coach after piloting the 2006 USA U20 National Team to a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship. She will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Sam Dixon of Furman University (S.C.), an assistant to McCallie last summer, and Arizona State University’s Charli Turner Thorne. The USA U21 finalists, named following the USA Trials, will reconvene in Colorado Springs June 12 to begin training for the tournament, and the eventual 12-member team will be named prior to the squad departing for Europe on June 16. The United States was placed in Group B in the 12-nation tournament along with Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan and Spain. Group A includes Belgium, Canada, China, Mali, France and Russia.
The Pan American Games women’s basketball tournament will be held July 20-24 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature eight national teams from FIBA Americas. Coaching the USA squad will be Temple University (Pa.) head coach Dawn Staley, a 2007-08 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team assistant coach. Assisting Staley will be collegiate head coaches Kathy Delaney-Smith of Harvard University (Mass.) and Bill Gibbons of College of the Holy Cross (Mass.). The USA Pan Ams finalists named following the USA Trials will reconvene on July 6 in Washington, D.C., and the eventual 12-member squad will be named prior to the team departing for Brazil on July 16.
Trials will feature an opening session on May 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (all times MDT); followed by two-a-days May 18-19, with morning sessions tipping-off at 10:00 a.m. and evening sessions at 5:30 p.m.; and an 8:30 a.m. session on May 20. USA Basketball is expected to announce finalists for each team following the morning session on May 20. The 2007 USA U19 National Team Trials will also take place May 17-20 at the USOTC, however, the U19 sessions will take place at different times during the weekend.
Incoming freshman Danielle Robinson will also in be Colorado Springs at the same time as Ashley Paris. Robinson is competing for a spot on U19 World Championship Team. She is among 37 athletes vying for a spot on the 12 player U19 roster. The pool of candidates is made up of 17 players with collegiate experience and 20 that recently completed their final year of high school eligibility.