July 17, 2013
PANEVĖ?YS, Lithuania -- Tennessee rising sophomore Bashaara Graves and her USA teammates will open competition Thursday in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, which runs from July 18 to 28.
USA, which went 3-0 to win the Lanzarote International Invitational tournament in the Canary Islands over the weekend, will open Group D pool play vs. host Lithuania at 11 a.m. Eastern time (6 p.m. EET) on Thursday at Cido Arena. To help prepare for that meeting, the Americans took part in a friendly scrimmage vs. France at the venue on Tuesday.
Graves, the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-SEC selection, will continue pool play with her USA teammates on Friday and Saturday. They meet China at 1:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. EET) on Friday and face off vs. Mali at 1:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. EET) on Saturday.
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group will advance to the second round, held July 22-24. The 12 nations qualifying for the second round will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with all results of games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second-round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The medal round will be played in Klaipeda, with the quarterfinals held on July 26, semifinals slated for July 27 and the gold medal game on July 28.
The USA is aiming for its fifth-straight U19 world championship and sixth in the past seven tournaments. Graves' Lady Vol teammates Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale helped the Americans claim the 2011 gold medal.
A 6-foot-2 power forward for the USA, Graves started all three games in the recent exhibition tournament at Lanzarote. The Clarksville, Tenn. (Clarksville H.S.) native averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds and connected on .833 (10-12) of her free throw tries. She was the tournament leader with a 3.67 per game average for offensive boards.