May 19, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant completed her first experience with USA Basketball this weekend. Merchant, along with head coach Charli Turner Thorne and fellow assistant Julie Rousseau, took part in the three-day trials at the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Upon conclusion of the trials on Sunday, the roster for the 2009 USA Women's World University Games was narrowed down to 14 finalists by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
"The trials were extremely competitive with some of the best talent in the country on the court," said Merchant. "We are thrilled with the players that the committee selected and look forward to training camp and bringing home the Gold in July."
The finalists includes Jayne Appel (Stanford), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Maya Moore (Connecticut), Kayla Pedersen (Stanford), Tina Charles (Connecticut), Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut), Ashley Houts (Georgia), Alexis Gray-Lawson (California), Whitney Hand (Oklahoma), Danielle McCray (Kansas), Jacinta Monroe (Florida State), Ta'Shia Phillips (Xavier), Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford) and Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma).
The selected finalists will return to Colorado Springs on June 18 for training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and train through June 25, when the team is expected to depart for the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. The 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team's departure.
The World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The women's basketball competition will take place July 1-11. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.