May 7, 2014
COLORADO Springs, Colo. - Tennessee women's basketball signee Kortney Dunbar has earned a trip to Colorado later this month. The 6-foot-2 guard/forward from Edwardsville, Illinois (Edwardsville H.S.), is among 28 of the nation's top 18-and-under players who accepted invitations to participate in the 2014 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Trials, USA Basketball announced on Wednesday.
The trials, scheduled to be held May 24-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, will be used to select the 12-member team that will compete in the USA Basketball-hosted 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the USOTC from Aug. 6-10. Invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster.
"I think we have a group of players that will allow us to choose a very representative team for this qualifying tournament," said Foster. "Anytime you can combine a team that has players who have won a gold medal and players who aspire to do so, it's a good combination in terms of preparing for the future. You're always adding to the mix and creating new opportunities for young players to advance and have opportunities to win gold medals and potentially continue to become Olympians."
Athletes invited to participate in the USA U17 National Team Trials are also eligible for selection to the USA U18 National Team and may be asked to contend to be a part of the 12-member roster.
The six trials sessions will be held in Sports Center 1, with two sessions on May 24, starting at 11 a.m. (all times are MDT) and 4 p.m. The May 25 sessions tip off at 10:45 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; while on May 26, trials will begin at 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., followed by the U18 team announcement that evening.
The 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, including: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
"Looking at the list of players who will be at the trials makes me so happy that I am not on the committee," said Dawn Staley, USA U18 National Team and University of South Carolina head coach. "To be able to get this group of talented players down to 12 and maybe three alternates is going to be a challenge in itself. I hope I can play a small role of putting all the players in a position to play their best basketball and to give the committee a hard challenge to get this group down to just 12.
"I'm looking forward to working with some of the best talent in our country. They're young. They're driven. They are talented. They are hopefully future Olympians who we can help grow in USA Basketball at the international level to where one day they can live out some dreams that I've lived out in becoming an Olympian. It all starts with these younger teams."
Dunbar, ranked No. 78 in the 2014 HoopGurlz-espnW 100, has previous USA Basketball experience. It came as a member of the Black Venom squad that finished in third place at the 2013 USA 3x3 U18 National Championship.