Women's Basketball signees Gayle and Anderson invited to USA U18 National Team trials
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Before all eyes turn to USA Basketball next month in final preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, younger basketball talent is assembling this week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to began their journey to international acclaim.
A total of 35 of the nation's best 18-and-under women's basketball talents -- including University of Texas signees Ashley Gayle and Yvonne Anderson -- have arrived in Colorado Springs for the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Trials. The 35 athletes, born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, are competing from June 9-11 for one of 12 roster spots on the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC).
Texas is the only team in the Big 12 Conference to have any signees (incoming freshmen) invited to the USA Basketball Trials.
All-America 6-4 post Gayle (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman HS) and 5-7 guard Anderson (Columbia, Mo.), an All-State standout from Hickman HS, are two of the three signees who UT head coach Gail Goestenkors signed during the November 2007 early signing period as part of her first class of Texas recruits.
On June 12, the Women's Collegiate Committee is expected to announce the official 12-member roster.
Following a three-week break, the team will reassemble to train at the USOTC from July 10-16 and in Washington, D.C., July 17-20 before departing for the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women. Eight teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean will compete in the 2008 zone qualifier that is being held July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"Many of these athletes played in the Youth Development Festival in 2007, and all of them have a great deal of high-level experience and are tremendously talented," said Sue Donohoe, chair of the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee. "The committee's challenge will be to determine the best combination of leadership, talent and skills in order to win a gold medal in Argentina."
Gayle has prior USA Basketball experience, having played in the 2007 Women's Youth Development Festival where she helped the USA Blue team to a silver medal.
Anderson is a newcomer to USA Basketball competition.
This spring, Gayle was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Nevada. She also starred at both the 2008 McDonald's All-America game and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association/Nike All-America Game. Gayle helped the West team to an 80-64 victory over the East squad in the McDonald's All-American game
Northern Illinois University's Carol Owens will serve as the U18 National Team head coach, with Joe McKeown of George Washington University and Terri Mitchell of Marquette University are the assistant coaches.