COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- After seven sessions spread through four days, USA Basketball has its first Women's U16 National Team.
Thirty-four players participated in the trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a chance to travel to the inaugural FIBA Americas U16 Championship, with a date and location to be named later. The twelve named to the roster will stay on campus through Thursday to train with their coaching staff, led by Wingate University coach Barbara Nelson.
As announced Sunday by USA Basketball, the 12 members of the U16 team are Jordan Adams, Cierra Burdick, Justine Hartman, Betnijah Laney, Ariel Massengale, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Alexia Standish, Breanna Stewart, Kiah Stokes, Morgan Tuck, Alexyz Vaioletama and Elizabeth Williams.
The roster includes nine members of the class of 2011 and three -- Adams, Stewart and Tuck -- from the 2012 class. Four of the twelve are from California and two are from Illinois, while Delaware, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia each have one representative.
The choices were made after seven sessions in four days, where the players went through drills, position work and scrimmages, working with the U16 coaching staff in front of the selection committee. Nelson's assistant coaches are Mike Armstrong, coach at Perry Meridian High School (Indianapolis, Ind.), and Dorena Bingham, coach of Team Alaska AAU.
The six-person selection committee, chaired by non-voting member Carol Callan, chose to fill the 12-player roster without naming alternates from the 34 players who participated in the trials. Of the 34, seven were late additions to the invitee list, with Stewart, a 2012 forward from North Syracuse, N.Y., the only player of those seven to make the final roster.
The selection of nine current high school sophomores against only three freshmen suggests that maturity, both physically and mentally, played a roll in who made the team.
The team will not be short on ballhandling with two true point guards in Massengale and Standish along with Adams, who showed this week she can play any of the perimeter positions for the Stars and Stripes.
The post play of Hartman, Stewart, Stokes and Williams should be a massive anchor for the team, which allowed the committee to select versatile players with the remaining roster spots not dedicated to either the point or post.
The team also has three players on the roster capable of busting up a zone defense from behind the arc with Massengale, Mosqueda-Lewis and Standish.
With Tuck's left knee injury Saturday morning that kept her from the remaining sessions, USA Basketball has asked Bashaara Graves to stay and practice with the team. USA Basketball communications manager Jenny Maag said they do not consider Graves an alternate and that if Tuck is unable to participate the committee would review the entire group before selecting her replacement.
Maag also indicated that a full medical evaluation had not been completed on Tuck's knee though the medical staff has indicated a sprain in its initial evaluation.
USA Basketball U16 National Team
As selected by the USA Basketball on May 31, 2009
Chris Hansen contributed to this report.
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Mindi Rice is a staff writer for ESPN HoopGurlz. She previously was an award-winning sportswriter at the Tacoma News Tribune and a barista at Starbucks, and grew up in Seattle, where she attended Roosevelt High School before graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. She can be reached at email@example.com.