COLORADO SPRINGS, CO July 28, 2014 – South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley and incoming freshman A’ja Wilson began their quest for a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship as the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team began training camp on Sat., July 26, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Staley is the team’s head coach, while Wilson headlines a trio of USA Basketball gold medalists on the team, which is on a mission to secure a seventh-consecutive gold medal at the event.
“I’m excited to finally start this journey with this versatile group of U18 players,” Staley said. “We will utilize our players in a way that will increase our chances to win gold. If it all plays out like we envision, the players will get better and we will win a gold medal. So, I look forward to meeting both of those goals.”
The 2014 USA U18 National Team was selected on May 26 after six trials sessions. Wilson joins fellow gold medalists Receé Caldwell and Brianna Turner to lead the team. Nine others on the roster are playing on their first USA Basketball team – Ariel Atkins, Napheesa Collier, Paris Kea, Marina Mabrey, Teaira McCowan, Beatrice Mompremier, Mariya Moore, Jessica Shepard and Destinee Walker.
Staley’s coaching staff includes assistant coaches Kim Barnes Arico (Michigan) and Jeff Walz (Louisville).
Training camp will continue through August 6 with the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship taking place at the USOTC Aug. 6-10.