Gold Digging

By Jeff Lippman - May 21, 2007

Sunday brought an end to the USA national team tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colo. and the result was three separate rosters jam packed with talent ready to go for the gold this summer, be it in Bratislava or Moscow for the World Championships or Rio de Janeiro for the Pan Am Games.

The three teams are the Under 19 team, the Under 21 team and the Pan Am Games team that consists of members of each.

The rosters have yet to be finalized, with each coach needing to trim two players or so to get the final tally.

Let's have a look at the newest members of the United States best hopes for gold medals this summer.

2007 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team Finalists Roster

Jayne Appel, 6-foot-4 center from Stanford
Victoria Baugh, 6-foot-4 forward going to Tennessee
Angie Bjorklund, 6-foot guard going to Tennessee
Allyssa DeHaan, 6-foot-9 center from Michigan State
Elena Delle Donne, 6-foot-5 guard still just going into her senior year of high school
Amy Jaeschke, 6-foot-5 center going to Northwestern
Jantel Lavender, 6-foot-4 center going to Ohio State
Melissa Lechlitner, 5-foot-7 guard going to Notre Dame
Demauria Liles, 6-foot-1 forward from Gulf Coast Community College
Italee Lucas, 5-foot-9 guard going to North Carolina
Maya Moore, 6-foot forward going to UConn
Kayla Pederson, 6-foot-4 forward going to Stanford
Khadijah Rushdan, 5-foot-9 guard going to Rutgers
Jasmine Thomas, 5-foot-9 guard going to Duke
Krystal Thomas, 6-foot-5 forward going to Duke
Monica Wright, 5-foot-11 forward from Virginia

This group of 16 young women, although many have never stepped on a college playing floor yet, will attempt to lead the United States to the gold medal when they take the floor in Bratislava, Slovakia on July 26-Aug. 5.

The most interesting selection to this team is Delle Donne, who has yet to decide where she will be hooping collegiately as she's still just going to be a senior in high school.

Although Delle Donne is the only player on the roster who won't be a college freshman or sophomore next season, she is not the youngest player on the roster. That honor belongs to incoming Duke freshman Jasmine Thomas, who being born on September 30, 1989, is exactly 25 days younger than Delle Donne.

Another interesting note: Three teams have multiple players make the U19 roster. The scary part is that Tennessee, the defending champs, will be welcoming two incoming freshman off this roster next season in Knoxville. Duke also welcomes two freshman from the roster. And Stanford, who already has had Appel's services for a year will be adding the services of Kayla Pederson.

2007 USA Women's U21 World Championship Team Finalists Roster

Charel Allen, 5-foot-11 guard from Notre Dame
Jolene Andeson, 5-foot-8 guard from Wisconsin
DeWanna Bonner, 6-foot-4 guard from Auburn
Essence Carson, 6-foot guard from Rutgers
Laura Harper, 6-foot-4 forward from Maryland
Ashley Houts, 5-foot-6 guard from Georgia
Amy Jaeschke, 6-foot-5 center going to Northwestern Only player on both rosters
Crystal Langhorne, 6-foot-2 center from Maryland
Marscilla Packer, 5-foot-9 guard from Ohio State
Courtney Paris, 6-foot-3 center from Oklahoma
Kia Vaughn, 6-foot-4 center from Rutgers
Abby Waner, 5-foot-11 guard from Duke
Candice Wiggins, 5-foot-11 guard from Stanford
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, 6-foot-2 forward from Purdue

Unsure of the reason that Jaeschke made both lists--although I will find out--but she must pick one squad before the championships are upon us. The dates conflict and the U21 squad goes to Moscow, while the U19 team will play in Slovakia.

Maryland and Rutgers owns this list, with two players from each college, and between Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper for the Terps and Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn for the Knights--oh and add in Duke's Abby Waner, Oklahoma's Paris and Stanford's Wiggins and this team is a sure shot for Gold come August.

2007 USA Women's Pan American Games Team Finalists Roster

Jessica Adair, 6-foot-4 center from George Washington
Matee Ajavon, 5-foot-8 guard from Rutgers
Nicky Anosike, 6-foot-4 forward from Tennessee
Jayne Appel, 6-foot-4 center from Stanford
Marissa Coleman, 6-foot-1 forward from Maryland
Krystal Ellis, 5-foot-9 guard from Marquette
Emily Fox, 5-foot-9 guard from Minnesota
Amber Holt, 6-foot forward from Middle Tennessee State
Alexis Hornbuckle, 5-foot-11 guard from Tennessee
Charde Houston, 6-foot forward from Connecticut
Tasha Humphrey, 6-foot-3 forward from Georgia
Erlana Larkins, 6-foot-2 forward from North Carolina
Angel McCoughtry, 6-foot-1 forward from Louisville
Mel Thomas, 5-foot-9 guard from Connecticut
Candice Wiggins, 5-foot-11 guard from Stanford

Dawn Staley has chosen herself quite a squad for this team, and they are the lucky ones. This group gets to go down to Rio de Janeiro and play basketball...much nicer than the Eastern European block the world championship teams get.

Interestingly enough, there are only two players who appear on this roster, as well as the world championship team rosters, and both of them play for Stanford.

The Cardinal's Jayne Appel (U19) and Candice Wiggins (U21) may play for both teams, should they avoid being one of the final cuts made to each roster.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 12:39 PM on May 21, 2007
Comments (1)


Does this mean that the West Coast does have some decent hoopsters and should not be counted out???


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