Alston, Hart Mitchell Invited To USA Basketball Team Trials
Complete USA Basketball Release
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Three members of the Ohio State women's basketball team have been invited to the 2015 USA Basketball Women's Pan American and World University Games National Team Trials. Ameryst Alston, Alexa Hart and Kelsey Mitchell will head to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 14-17 to via for a spot on the U.S. National Team.
There are a total of 54 players invited to the trials and Ohio State is one of three schools with three representatives. USA Basketball aims at naming two 12-person teams by May 17.
The Pan American games will be played this year in Toronto, Canada from July 16-20. The coaches for the U.S. Pan American team are head coach Lisa Bluder from Iowa and assistant coaches Michelle Clark-Heard from Western Kentucky and Scott Rueck from Oregon.
The World University Games, which are held every other year, is open to women who are between the ages of 17 and 24, and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university. The World Games will be contested this summer in Gwangju, Korea from July 3-14. Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown will be the head coach and will be assisted by coaches Holly Warlick from Tennessee and Tanya Warren from of Northern Iowa.
Alston was a finalist for the 2011 U-17 World Championships and Youth Olympic Team as well as the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 U19 Team Championships. She earned her second-straight first team All-Big Team honor this past season after averaging a career-best 19.8 ppg.
Alston and Mitchell made up the best backcourt duo in the country. Mitchell was the first freshman to ever lead the country in scoring at 24.9 ppg and she was named the National Freshman of the Year by USBWA and ESPNW. She was also named the B1G Player and Freshman of the Year after setting an NCAA single-season record with 127 three-pointers made.
Hart progressed throughout the year as one of the best low-post threats in the Big Ten. She averaged 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and notched a team-best 13 double-doubles. Hart also broke the school-record with 129 blocked shots which was fifth-most by a freshman in NCAA history.
In addition to the Pan American World University Team Trials, former Buckeye Jantel Lavender was one of 27 invitees to the U.S. National Team Training Camp this summer. Lavender is eyeing a spot on the National Team which is preparing to compete in next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Lavender has won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2009 World University Games, 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship and the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. She was drafted by the LA Sparks in 2011 and last year led the team to the Western Conference semifinals. Overseas, Lavender led all 2013-14 EuroLeague competitors for scoring after averaging 20.3 ppg., while adding 10.7 ppg. for Wisla Can-Pack Krakow in Poland.