COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State rising-seniors Linnae Harper and Kelsey Mitchell have accepted invitations to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp. The camp will run July 31 - Aug. 4 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A total of 40 collegiate athletes will take part in the camp and the 12-member team that will represent the USA in an inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament for college-aged women this summer in Tokyo, Japan, is expected to be announced on Aug. 4. Players selected to the team will continue training at the USOTC through Aug. 7 before departing for Tokyo. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 23 years old or younger and currently are freshmen, sophomores or juniors in college.
Harper is a Team USA veteran, as she won gold medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. She also collected gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, bronze at the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Championship, silver at the 2015 Pan American Games and an honorary bronze at the 2011 FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship. Last year in her first with the Buckeyes, she was named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year.
Mitchell is looking to become the first women’s basketball player in Ohio State history to earn All-America honors four times. She is the program’s third all-time leading scorer and is the Big Ten leader in career three-pointers made. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has scored over 2,500 points in her career and currently holds 14 school records.
Leading the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team will be Jeff Walz of Louisville as head coach, with Courtney Banghart of Princeton and Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky as assistant coaches.
Additionally, Geno Auriemma, 2009-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach and head coach at Connecticut, will serve as the lead clinician during training camp, guiding all of the sessions except the team practices and games.
During training camp, athletes will take part in sessions dedicated to skill development and to understanding the culture of success that is an important aspect of playing for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team. Additionally, the participants will be divided into four teams that will compete in a round-robin tournament that results in semifinals and gold and bronze medal games.
Training camp begins on July 31 with a session at 5:45 p.m. (all times listed are MDT). On Aug. 1, training camp will continue at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while Team 1 will play Team 2 at 4:30 p.m. and Team 3 will take on Team 4 at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 will begin with Team 1 versus Team 3 at 9:30 a.m. and Team 2 against Team 4 at 11 a.m., and after a training camp session at 3 p.m., Team 1 will play Team 4 at 5 p.m. and Team 2 will meet Team 3 at 6:30 p.m. On Aug. 3, the day will start with semifinal games at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., followed by a training camp session at 12:30 p.m. and then one-hour team practices for each of the teams from 4-8 p.m. The final day of training camp on Aug. 4 will feature a bronze medal game at 8 a.m., a gold medal game at 9:30 a.m. and the official USA U23 National Team expected to be announced early that afternoon.
The 2017 U23 Four Nations Tournament, which will include the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan, will be a round-robin tournament played Aug. 12-15 in Tokyo.
The 2017 U23 Four Nations Tournament will provide meaningful competition and development opportunities. The USA’s participation in the tournament is intended to help further develop the USA Basketball athlete pipeline and to help prepare athletes for possible future participation in the USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool.
My Gameday - Stephanie Mavunga