Mocs Jasmine Joyner and Keiana Gilbert Accept Tryouts For 2015 USA Basketball Teams
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Jasmine Joyner and Keiana Gilbert accepted invitations to tryouts for the 2015 USA Basketball teams.
“I am excited these two young players get the opportunity to play with and against the best players that the country has to offer in their age groups,” Chattanooga Head Coach Jim Foster said.
Joyner, a rising junior, is one of 54 of the nation’s best collegiate basketball players who accepted invitations to attend the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s Pan American Games and World University Games Team Trials, which will take place May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee issued the invitations.
She was named the Southern Conference Tournament MVP and earned a spot on the SoCon coaches and media all-conference teams. The Southaven, Miss., native led the Mocs to a third straight SoCon regular season title and a school-best No. 17 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Joyner led the Mocs in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (8.2), ranking among the league’s best. She ranked as high as second in the nation for blocked shots, ending the season fifth with a SoCon record 132.
She joins 2014 FIBA World Champion Breanna Stewart (Connecticut) and 16 players overall who have won at least one gold medal with USA Basketball. Trials will be used to determine the rosters for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team and the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team. The 12 members of each squad, or finalists for each team, will be announced on the morning of May 17.
Players eligible for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Games and USA World University Games teams must be U.S. citizens who currently are enrolled as full-time college students with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.
“We have more than enough talent to field two teams from among this group,” said Jim Foster, chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee. “It will be a very competitive trials as there are a number of very good players with vast USA Basketball experience and a very attractive group of first-time invitees.”
Gilbert, a rising sophomore, is one of 34 of the nation’s top 19-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996) who accepted an invitation to attend the USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team Trial. The 12-member squad will be selected from trials held May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee.
“Looking at the list of invited players, I believe the committee members are going to have their hands full because it’s fill with so much talent,” said USA U19 head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina). “I look forward to repeating the trials that we had last year, because it was competitive. It was respectful. All the players really bought into our coaching staff and the things that we had put in. Hopefully we’ll have a repeat trials and come up with a team that will compete and win the (FIBA) U19 World Championship.”
Six members of the 2014 USA U18 National Team that earned gold and the USA its 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship berth are returning to compete for a spot on the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team – as is the coaching staff. Assisting Staley and the U19 squad are collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico of the University of Michigan and Jeff Walz of the University of Louisville.
Gilbert, a member of the SoCon All-Freshman Team, was named the ESPNW National Player of the Week for her performance in the Mocs’ win over then-No. 4 ranked Tennessee. She led Chattanooga with 27 points. She was 11-of-19 on the night and 5-of-7 from the free throw line with five rebounds.
She was third on the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game and second for rebounding (5.7) while leading the Mocs with a .536 field goal percentage. She also ranked among the SoCon’s best in assists, steals and blocked shots.
Gilbert is one of 13 USA U19 trials athletes eligible to be considered for the 2015 USA Pan American Games and USA World University Games teams since she recently completed her freshman year of college.
The University of Iowa’s Lisa Bluder will lead the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team, along with assistant coaches Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky University and Scott Rueck of Oregon State University.
Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown will be head coach of the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team, with assistant coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.
Trials begin with a 6:30-8:15 p.m. (all times are local, Mountain Daylight Time) session on May 14, followed by sessions at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on May 15 and 16.
The Pan American Games and World University Games team trials will take place on the same days as the 2015 USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team Trials, although at different times. Several U19 participants, because they have played a year of college basketball, are eligible for the Pan American and World University Games competitions.