May 13, 2009
NIU head women's basketball coach Carol Owens is at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for USA Basketball Women's
U19 National Team Trials May 14-17. Owens, the head coach of USA Basketball's U19 Championship Team, will be observing 27 of the nation's top 19-and-under athletes, including seven from the squad that took home the gold at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
"I'm excited to get started with trials," Owens said. "We have so many great athletes who will be competing hard for a spot on the team. I'm actually happy that I don't have to pick the team because I know it's going to be a tough decision for the committee. This is just the first step in what we need to do in order to defend our gold medal and I'm looking forward to the entire process."
Over the next three days, the committee will evaluate the invitees and determine who will be invited to training camp, which will take place July 8 in Colorado Springs. The eventual 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team departing for Thailand.
Two-time defending FIBA U19 World Championship gold medalists, the USA will look to capture its third straight gold medal at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, scheduled for July 23 - Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1,
1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments. Included in the field of nations are: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Lithuania, Mali, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia and the USA.
Fans can follow Owens' journey from the Trials to Thailand through her blog at www.niuhuskies.com.