Video: Aquira DeCosta, St. Mary's win Nike TOC finalSt. Mary's sophomore could be wearing the Red, White and Blue once again this summer.COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –
It ain't over 'til it's over – and USA Basketball's Women's World Championship Team Trials aren't done yet.
In most years, and for most teams, the 12-player roster is chosen at the end of the trials – in this case, May 30 – but occasionally, the selection committee decides to take more time. This year is one of those occasions, so 18 players (out of the 139 who arrived on Thursday) will work with head coach Dori Oldaker and staff to finalize the roster for the June 22-July 2 FIBA U17 World Championships in Spain.
"We've done this before," said Women's National Team Director Carol Callan about extending the tryout process. "It depends on the situation."
Part of the 2016 situation was the stunning upset of the Americans by Brazil in last year's FIBA Americas, a competition the USA teams usually dominate.
"We know that we didn't win last year," Callan said.
Clearly the Selection Committee decided that the experience and motivation gained by the 12 players who lost to Brazil was not enough to offset the need to shake things up. Only three on the roster last summer – Aquira DeCosta
of St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.)
, Alexis Morris
of Legacy Christian Academy (Beaumont, Texas)
and Sedona Prince
of Liberty Hill (Texas)
– were brought back for the final days of tryouts.
There's no guarantee any of the three will be on the final 12 (which will be announced either Thursday night or Friday morning).
The committee also went young, choosing just four members of the Class of 2017 – Janelle Bailey
of Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.)
, Rellah Boothe
of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
, Maya Dodson
of St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.)
There were also three from the Class of 2019 – Aliyah Boston
of Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.)
, Monroe Samantha Brunelle
of Monroe (Stanardsville, Va.)
and Zoe Young
of Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Math majors will have already deduced that therefore 11 members of the Class of 2018 will stay in Colorado Springs this week:
of Lovett (Atlanta, Ga.)
; Charli Collier
of Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, Texas)
, DeCosta, Destanni Henderson
of Fort Myers (Fla.)
, Nazahrah Hillmon
of Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills, Ohio)
, Taylor Mikesell
of Jackson (Massillon, Ohio)
, Olivia Nelson-Ododa
of Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.)
, Prince, Abby Prohaska
of Lakota West (West Chester, Ohio)
, Christyn Williams
of Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock, Ark.)
and Madison Williams
of Trinity Valley (Fort Worth, Texas)
This also means that at least one of the seven players who paid their own way to Colorado Springs to take a shot at making the team – Bailey, Boston, Hillmon, Mikesell, Prohaska, Madison Williams and Young – will be traveling to Spain this summer.
The 12 who survive the final cut later this week will return to Colorado Springs for training camp June 7-15, before departing for the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship, which will be played June 22-July 2 in Zaragoza, Spain.
Additionally, Kasiyahna Kushkituah
of Georgia's St. Francis, who began on May 26 as a U17 hopeful, will join the 30 players trying out for the 2016 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team.
As always, there were some surprises among the cuts. Perhaps the most unexpected cut from last year's roster was UConn signee Andra Espinoza-Hunter
of Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)
, though Destiny Littleton
of Bishop's (La Jolla, Calif.)
also averaged double figures last summer. Valencia Myers
of Solon (Ohio)
led the team in rebounding but she too did not make the final group.Breanna Beal
of Rock Island (Ill.)
and Morgan Jones
of Our Lady of Mercy (Fairburn, Ga.)
showed well during the trials, as did Indiana's Sydney Parrish, the only middle school student to survive the cuts and play on Sunday.