Texas women's basketball players Joyner Holmes and Alecia Sutton are among 33 players nationally who have received invitations to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Athletes for this team must be 19 years old or younger and U.S. citizens.
Twelve athletes will be selected to the USA Basketball Women's U19 team.
Six-time defending U19 gold medalists, the United States will look to make it seven gold medals in a row at the July 22-30 event in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy. Pitt head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, who led the 2016 USA U18 National Team to gold, will lead the USA U19 World Cup Team and will again be assisted by collegiate head coaches Kamie Ethridge, a Texas Ex, from Northern Colorado and Charlotte Smith from Elon. Additionally, Georgetown head coach Natasha Adair and Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk will serve as court coaches during the trials.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, FIBA changed the names of its age-based world championships in 2005 to reflect the age of eligibility, and recently updated the names of all of its world championships to world cups. The tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA in 2005 modified its calendar and now conducts the U19 World Cup every other year. USA women's teams are 73-12 in U19/Junior World Cups, capturing a sixth-consecutive gold in 2015 with a 7-0 record.
The draw to determine the preliminary round was held Feb. 1. The USA was placed in Group A and will open against Mali on July 22, face China on July 23 and cap the preliminary round against host Italy on July 25.
Drawn into Group B were Egypt, Puerto Rico, Russia and Spain; Group C includes Canada, France, Latvia and South Korea; while Group D features Australia, Hungary, Japan and a nation from the Americas to be determined by FIBA at a later date. Brazil claimed bronze at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship to qualify for this summer's U19 tournament. However, the Brazil Basketball Federation has since been suspended by FIBA.
Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded according to group play, and all participating teams will advance to the July 26 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 28 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 29, and the gold and bronze medal games are slated for July 30.
Holmes was the 2017 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-Big 12 selection. She averaged 12.1 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks per game last season, leading the Longhorns in rebounding in 2016-17. Among Big 12 freshmen, she ranked first in points per game, rebounds per game and double-doubles (8). Her 278 rebounds on the year rank sixth all-time on the UT freshman single-season list.
Sutton played in 34 games for the Longhorns in 2016-17, earning her first career start against Tennessee. She averaged 3.8 points per game and 1.7 rebounds per game in 13.6 minutes per game of play. She dished out 43 assists on the season and scored in double figures on two occasions.