Sophia Young and Danielle Robinson Named to USA Basketball European Tour Roster
Robinson rejoins USA Basketball after being named to the USA Basketball Select Team prior to her senior year at the University of Oklahoma. The San Jose, Calif. native also helped guide the USA Basketball World University Games team to a gold medal in Belgrade, Serbia with a perfect 7-0 record in July 2009. She will participate in the USA’s first three games before joining Israel’s Maccabi Ramat Hen for her WNBA offseason commitment.
“I am very excited, it is an honor to go to USA training camp,” Robinson said. “Being a part of USA Basketball is not something everyone has the chance to do. It is a great opportunity for me to travel the world and play alongside our countries best talent.”
Selected sixth overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Robinson played in all 37 games for the Silver Stars this season, starting 12. A unanimous WNBA All-Rookie Team selection, she led all rookies in assists per game (3.9) and notched 14 double-figure scoring performances while averaging 8.2 points per game. The OU alumni capped off the regular season with a franchise rookie record 36 point in the 102-94 overtime victory at Tulsa on Sept. 11, the most points by a WNBA rookie this season.
A native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Young has lived in the United States since age 15 and gained her U.S. citizenship on Sept. 2, 2011. Young has accepted the invitation to join USA Basketball in Europe in hopes of being named to the 2011-12 USA National Team roster.
“I am truly honored to be considered to participate with the US training team,” Young said. “I’m grateful to everyone that has done so much to help me attain my citizenship. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I want to make the best use of it. I am truly blessed.”
A two-time All-American who helped lead Baylor University to the 2005 NCAA title, Young was selected by San Antonio with the fourth overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft. A four-time WNBA All-Star, Young owns career averages in her six-year WNBA career of 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. A member of the 2006 All-Rookie Team and 2008 WNBA All-Defensive Team, Young in a three-time All-WNBA honoree, earning first team honors in 2008 and second team honors in 2007 and 2009. She played in 36 games for the Silver Stars in 2011, leading the team with 6.4 rebounds per game and 2.03 steals per game while ranking second with 13.2 points per game.
The 2011 USA Basketball Women’s National Team will open training camp in Naples, Italy on Sept. 27 to begin preparing for a five-game European exhibition tour that runs through Oct. 9. The tour will open with two games in Naples, Italy, as part of a tournament hosted by Pallacanestro Napoli, Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. In addition to the local club, participating teams in the Naples tournament include reigning Italian champion Famila Schio and 2011 EuroLeague Final Four contestant Ros Casares Valencia.
Traveling to Valencia, Spain, the U.S. will take on Ros Casares, current champion of the Spanish league on Oct. 5 before facing 2011 Czech league champion ZVVZ-USK Prague in the Czech Republic on Oct. 8. The team will close out the tour in Hungary against Hungarian Cup and Hungarian Championship winners UNIQA-Euroleasing Sopron on Oct. 9.
Robinson and Young will join Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Brittney Griner (Baylor University), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) on the European tour. Candice Dupree and Diana Taurasi from the Phoenix Mercury are expected to join the squad in Europe later in the week, while athlete(s) TBD from the Atlanta Dream or Indiana Fever may join the U.S. team following the conclusion of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut Head Coach will lead the squad during its European tour. Doug Bruno (DePaul University), Jennifer Gillom, who will also serve as an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team, and Marynell Meadors (Atlanta Dream) will act as assistant coaches to Auriemma. Should Meadors and the Dream advance to the WNBA Finals, the 2011 USA European Tour roster will feature just two assistants, Bruno and Gillom.
In all, the 2011-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team features a total of 26 players. In addition to Cash, Charles, Griner, Jones, Montgomery and Pondexter, the USA National Team includes: Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Rebekkah Brunson (Minnesota Lynx), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Shameka Christon (Chicago Sky), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Lindsey Harding (Atlanta Dream), Ebony Hoffman (Los Angeles Sparks), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
Four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. will look to capture a fifth straight gold medal and extend its 33-game Olympic winning streak at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The Olympic basketball competition will be held July 28-Aug. 12 in the Olympic Park Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena. Four countries have claimed spots in the eventual 12-nation field, including host country Great Britain; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of earning the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship; China, winner of the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship; and Russia, winner of the 2011 EuroBasket. Three additional teams will earn spots this year by claiming gold at the remaining two zone qualifying tournaments, FIBA Africa and FIBA Oceania, while the final five teams will earn their spots at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (June 21-July 1 at a site TBD).
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team assistant coaches are expected to be selected later this year, while the final USA team, expected to come from the 26-member 2011-12 USA National Team roster, will be announced in 2012.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee is comprised of WNBA representatives Reneé Brown, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations; Dan Hughes, Head Coach/General Manager of the San Antonio Silver Stars; and Chief Operating Officer/General Manager of the Indiana Fever Kelly Krauskopf; athlete representative and five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, head coach of the Tulsa Shock; and USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan.