Women's U19 World Championship Team selected 2005 USA Basketball Team of the Year
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2005 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team, which dominated the 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship with a perfect 8-0 record and the gold medal this past July in Tunis, Tunisia, has been selected as the 2005 USA Basketball Team of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. University of Texas 5-10 freshman guard Erika Arriaran (Norco, Calif./Norco HS), the 2005 National Player of the Year and currently the No. 18 ranked Longhorns' top scorer, was one of the standouts on that dominating gold-medal team.
With its selection as USA Basketball's Team of the Year, the squad becomes eligible for the 2005 U.S. Olympic Team of the Year award which will be announced by the USOC at a later date.
In the very balanced team effort, Arriaran played in all eight games, averaging 4.6 points and 16.5 minutes per game with 21 assists, five steals and just seven turnovers. She helped the U.S. surpass the previous assist record for the U19 Championship with her 2.6 assists per game average.
"I'm very proud of our Women's U19 World Championship Team ," said USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley. "Not only did they bring home the gold, but they did so in dominant fashion winning by an average of 46.3 points per game. This was a terrific team effort, and I look forward to seeing many of these young players on future USA Basketball teams."
In addition to the U19 World Championship crown, the squad earned a 1-1 record in exhibition play against the Hungary U19 National Team and finalists for the USA squad rolled through its competition at the 2005 International Sports Invitational for a 4-0 slate and the gold medal in San Diego, Calif.
2005 marks the 10th time the USA Basketball Team of the Year Award has been presented. The award has been earned by the historic 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Team / USA Women's National Team, 1997 USA Women's Junior World Championship Team, 1998 and 2002 USA Women's World Championship squads, 1999 USA Men's Tournament of the Americas Team, 2000 and 2004 U.S. Women's Olympic / USA Women's Senior National teams and the 2001 USA World Championship For Young Men Team.
Duke University's Gail Goestenkors served as head coach for the U.S. squad. The USA was in control from the start, earning the following preliminary-round victories: 98-65 over Russia to open up play (July 15); 124-37 over the Congo on July 16; 94-68 versus Serbia & Montenegro (July 17); 116-28 against Puerto Rico (July 19); and 129-74 over South Korea (July 20). The July 22 quarterfinals saw the United States exact revenge on Hungary, the only team to beat the U.S. last summer in exhibition play, to a tune of 85-55. After a 99-68 semifinal victory over eventual bronze medalist China (July 23), the USA earned the gold medal with a 97-76 win over Serbia & Montenegro.
Statistically, the USA averaged 105.9 points a game, and won its eight games by an average margin of 46.3 points a game. By winning all eight of its games, the U.S. became just the third team to emerge from the U19 World Championship undefeated and the first team to go 8-0. Of the 16 USA team records for the event, the 2005 squad shattered 10 of the previous marks, including most points (842); highest scoring average; most field goals made (340) and attempted (567); highest field goal percentage (.600); most free throws made (118) and attempted (183); most rebounds (355); and most assists (183).
Formerly known as the FIBA Women's Junior World Championship and held every four years since 1985, the USA's capturing of gold in 2005 marked just the second time the American women have claimed gold in the six U19 World Championships. The U.S. now boasts of a 32-10 overall record and has captured two gold (2005, 1997) and one bronze medal (2001).