COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- University of Texas incoming 5-10 freshman guard and high school National Player of the Year Erika Arriaran (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) was one of 12 players named Sunday to the 2005 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team, as announced by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee. Of the 12 U19 players, seven completed their freshman season in college in 2004-05, while five completed their high school senior years in 2004-05.
The USA team was selected after the team's 15 finalists finished 4-0 and won gold at the 2005 International Sports Invitational in San Diego, Calif. Held June 8-11, U19 teams from the USA, Australia (2-2), Russia (2-2) and China (0-4) competed in the tournament.
Texas incoming 6-1 freshman guard Earnesia Williams (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa HS) was one of those 15 finalists, but did not make the final U19 roster.
The USA's U19 Team will feature eight eight players who were part of last summer's gold medalist USA U19 World Championship Qualifying Team, including Arriaran. The team is being led by Duke University head mentor Gail Goestenkors.
Arriaran earned two 2005 National Player of the Year honors as a senior this winter (the Parade Magazine and State Farm/WBCA honors) and also was one of five players chosen to the USA Today All-USA first team. During the four-game International Sports Invitational this past week, Arriaran played in all four games, starting one (against Russia in the gold medal game). She averaged 4.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 12 minutes per game and was first among all USA players in assists (12, 3.0 apg). Among all tournament participants, Arriaran tied for third in assist-turnover ratio (12 assists, 9 turnovers, 1.33) and was seventh in overall assists (3.0 apg).
During the four-game tourney, Williams also played in all four games, starting one. She scored 4.5 points per game with 2.0 rpg while playing 8.0 minutes per contest. Williams shot a solid 7-for-12 from the floor, tying for third best in USA field goal percentage (.583).
Named to the 2005 USA U19 World Championship Team were: Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin/Port Wing, Wis.); Nicky Anosike (Tennessee/Staten Island, N.Y.); Arriaran; Essence Carson (Rutgers/Paterson, N.J.); Marissa Coleman (Cheltenham, Md./St. Johns College HS); Crystal Langhorne (Maryland/Willingboro, NJ); Erlana Larkins (North Carolina/Riviera Beach, Fla.); Courtney Paris (Piedmont, Calif./Piedmont HS); Abby Waner (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge HS); Candice Wiggins (Stanford/Poway, Calif.); and Christina Wirth (Mesa, Ariz./Seton Catholic HS) and Sharnee' Zoll (Virginia/Philadelphia, Pa.).
The USA squad will regroup on Tuesday, June 28 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will train there until July 2. The USA women will then travel to Washington, D.C., training July 3-6 at American University. The team then goes to Budapest, Hungary (July 7-11) for more training and two exhibitions (July 9 and 10) against Hungary's U19 squad prior to heading to the FIBA U19 World Championship Tournament.
Formerly known as the FIBA Women's Junior World Championship, the 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship features 12 teams, and is scheduled to run July 15-24 in Hammamet and Tunis, Tunisia.
The USA has been placed in preliminary group A and its first round opponents will be Russia on July 15, then the USA will face Congo, Serbia & Montenegro, Puerto Rico and will close preliminary round action on July 20 against South Korea. Group B consists of Australia, Canada, China, Hungary, Spain and Tunisia.
Held every four years since 1985, the US boasts of a 24-10 record and has captured one gold and one bronze medal. In 2001, at the most recent U19 World Championship Tournament, then known as the Junior World Championship, the USA Basketball team, featuring Alana Beard and Diana Taurasi, collected the bronze medal with a 6-1 record.
The United States secured its 2005 FIBA Women's U19 World Championship berth after the 2004 USA team earned the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The US finished a perfect 5-0 and outscored its opponents by a remarkable +81.0 points per game, while averaging 123.0 ppg.