May 19, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After three grueling days of tryouts over the weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tennessee's Ariel Massengale has been notified by USA Basketball that she is one of 12 players to make the 2013 World University Games team.
Massengale, a product of Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook H.S.), is one of seven USA Basketball gold medalists who will return to lead the 2013 Women's World University Games team. The WUG women's basketball competition will be held July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia, and the team will regroup in Colorado Springs for training June 25-July 1.
"Well, I was incredibly impressed with the respectful nature of the group, the way they competed, their willingness to learn," said Sherri Coale, USA and University of Oklahoma head coach. "They are tremendous college basketball players from great programs all across the country, and they were incredibly willing to take direction. Selfless play, trying to make one another better. It was a really high energy trial and a bunch of really great kids."
A part of three gold-medal winning squads, Massengale most recently helped the USA triumph at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship. She averaged 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. For her efforts on that squad, Massengale was named to the five-member All-FIBA U19 World Championship Team.
In 2010, Massengale helped fuel a win at the FIBA U17 World Championship, averaging 10.1 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 5.4 apg. In 2009, at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, her numbers included 12.0 ppg., 3.4 rpg. and 4.8 apg.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and have collected a record eight gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal.
Ariel Massengale Q&A After Being Selected
Were you nervous?
"I was nervous. I barely slept last night. It's just nerve-wracking when you are competing against 32 other great players. Anyone here was capable of making the team, so it's just an honor."
What do you think the committee saw in you?
"I think it was just my leadership. Being a point guard, being vocal with my teammates, not worrying about myself but trying to put them in the best position for our team to be successful."
How does it feel to make your fourth USA Basketball team?
"It's very special. The committee doesn't really look at if you made it before, because that is in the past. It depends on what you do during these tryouts here. It's definitely an honor. I'm blessed. Coaches tell me, you put in the work and it's going to pay off for you, so I'm very excited."