Ortiz Makes USA U19 World Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Oklahoma sophomore-to-be Gabbi Ortiz earned one of 12 spots on the 2015 USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team.
Ortiz and the other 11 members were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee following three days of trials that featured 34 athletes age 19-and-under (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996), May 14-16, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"I’m ecstatic,” said Ortiz after receiving the news. “This is something that I have been dreaming about. When I got the invitation it was such an honor, I was just so excited for the experience as a whole and to actually make the United States of America team is amazing to me and I cannot wait and lead this team in Russia.”
Ortiz becomes the third player to represent Oklahoma on the USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team. She joins Aaryn Ellenberg (2011) and Danielle Robinson (2007). She is also one of four named to their first USA Basketball team.
The 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship competition will be held July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia and the team will regroup for training July 1-7 at the USOTC in Colorado Springs prior to traveling to Alicante, Spain, to compete in a round-robin tournament July 11-13 against U19 national teams from Australia, Canada and Spain prior to arriving in Russia. The squad is on a quest to capture sixth-consecutive gold medal at the U19 Worlds.
This is something that I have been dreaming about.
Oklahoma Guard Gabbi Ortiz
Also named to the squad were Kristine Angiwe (Desert Vista H.S.); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S.); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S.); Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S.); Mariya Moore (Louisville); Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S.); Azura Stevens (Duke); Shakayla Thomas (Florida State); Chatrice White (Illinois); A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
“I like our team,” said USA U19 head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina). “I thought the committee did a great job of putting a great team together. This is a very versatile team. A lot of players can play different positions. I’m looking forward to working with all of them. We have great point guard play, we’ve got a great perimeter play, we’ve got a lot of length and size, and I look forward to June 30 when we get back together.”
Assisting Staley and the U19 squad are collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico of the University of Michigan and Jeff Walz of the University of Louisville.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19 years old or younger. The 16 teams will be seeded following the July 18-21 preliminary play and advance to the knockout phase with the round of 16 on July 22. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 24, semifinals are on July 25 and the tournament will end with the medal games on July 26.
Drawn into Group B, the USA will open play against Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist) on July 18, face China (FIBA Asia gold medalist) on July 19 and cap preliminary round play on July 21 against Egypt (FIBA Africa silver medalist).
Selected for preliminary round Group A were host Russia (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Argentina (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), the Netherlands (FIBA Europe sixth place) and Japan (FIBA Asia fourth place); Group C consists of Belgium (FIBA Europe fifth place), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and Mali (FIBA Africa gold medalist); while Group D includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe fourth place) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).
First held in 1985 and known as the FIBA Junior World Championship through 2001, the U19 World Championship features the world’s top players who are 19 years old or younger. Held every four years through 2005, FIBA now holds U19 World Championships every two years.