Stafford invited to participate in 2012 USA Basketball U18 World Championship Team Trials
May 3, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Texas Women’s Basketball 2012-13 signee Imani Stafford (Los Angeles, Calif.) is one of 26 athletes who have accepted invitations to attend the 2012 U18 World Championships Team Trials, USA Basketball announced today. The trials will take place May 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Invitations to attend the trials were issued by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee chaired by Sue Donohoe, executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
A 2012 WBCA High School All-America and 2012 McDonald’s All-America honoree, the 6-foot-7 Stafford was ranked the 10th overall recruit and No. 3 post in the class of 2012 by ESPN Hoopgurlz. As a junior, she led Windward School to a 2011 California CIF Division IV state championship. During her senior campaign she averaged 9.7 points per game for the 19th-ranked Wildcats to garner third-team All-State honors as well as All-Southern Section 4AA and Los Angeles Times All-Southland Conference accolades.
Stafford has previous competitive experience playing for the USA Women’s Basketball National Team having been a member of the gold medal-winning 2010 U17 National Team that posted a perfect 8-0 record at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Stafford averaged 3.6 points per game as well as a team third-best 5.3 rebounds per game. She was also selected as a finalist for the 2011 USA Basketball U19 World Championship team last May.
“The committee is excited about this group of players as they are all highly skilled and accomplished,” said Donohoe. “With all the talent that will be at trials, we are going to have a difficult time selecting the team. The committee is responsible for not only selecting young women who are talented on the playing floor but also for selecting young women who will contribute in a positive manner as part of the team representing the United States. We are really looking forward to these trials, as we know that the players invited to the trials are the types of players who will positively represent USA Basketball in its quest for gold this summer at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.”
After making final roster selections, the 2012 U18 team will regroup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., for its first training camp from May 28-June 2. The USA squad will then return to the USOTC for its final training camp Aug. 3-12.
The USA U18 National Team will then compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 15-19, in hopes of securing a berth in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women (dates and site TBD). The FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with the top three finishing teams qualifying for the 2013 FIBA U19 Worlds. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
University of Miami head coach Katie Meier will serve as head coach of the U18 squad, while collegiate head coaches Nikki Caldwell of Louisiana State University and Kelly Graves of Gonzaga University will act as assistant coaches.
Also accepting invitations to the 2012 USA U18 Women’s Basketball Championship Team Trials are: Candice Agee (Silverado H.S. / Victorville, Calif.); Lexie Brown (North Gwinnett H.S. / Suwanee, Ga.); Brianna Butler (Nazareth Regional H.S., N.Y. / King of Prussia, Pa.); Kaelyn Causwell (Wesleyan School / Jones Creek, Ga.); Saniya Chong (Ossining H.S. / Ossining, N.Y.); Kahleah Copper (Prep Charter School / Philadelphia, Pa.); Rebekah Dahlman (Braham Area H.S. / Braham, Minn.); Briana Day (Millbrook H.S. / Raleigh, N.C.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S. / Clarksville, Tenn.); Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Assocciation / Glenn Heights, Texas); Kailee Johnson (Central Catholic H.S. / Portland, Ore.); Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S. / Belmar, N.J.); Breyana Mason (Forest Park H.S. / Woodbridge, Va.); Tess Picknell (South Medford H.S. / Medford, Ore.); Kelsey Plum (La Jolla Country Day School / Poway, Calif.); Alexis Prince (Edgewater / Orlando, Fla.); Faith Randolph (Good Counsel H.S. / Derwood, Md.); Tyler Scaife (Hall H.S. / Little Rock, Ark.); Ieshia Small (Dr. Krop H.S. / Tallahassee, Fla.); Stewart; Brittney Sykes (University H.S. / Newark, N.J.); Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.); Shilpa Tummala (St. Mary's Catholic H.S. / Phoenix, Ariz.); Halle Washington (Parkway H.S. / Bossier City, La.); and Courtney Williams (North Shore H.S. / Houston, Texas).