Lady Lions' Agee joins U18 USA Basketball squad

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State freshman Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif./Silverado) has been added to the 2012 USA Basketball U18 National Team roster for the upcoming FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The Victorville, Calif. native replaces Imani Stafford, who is unable to participate due to injury. The USA Basketball U18 National Team will participate in the FIBA Americas U19 Championship for Women Aug. 15-19 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Agee is the first Lady Lion player to don the red, white and blue since Tanisha Wright played on the US Young Women's Team in 2003. The freshman center has joined the U18 National Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs for training camp, which will run Aug. 4-11. The squad will then head to Puerto Rico August 12 in preparation for the start of the tournament.

The 6-6 Agee was ranked 34th by ESPN/HoopGurlz, 38th by Collegiate Girls Report, 17th by Blue Star Basketball and 40th by All-Star Girls Report and Peach State as a high school senior. Agee is the fourth McDonald's All-American in school history and is one of three McDonald's honorees on the 2012-13 Lady Lion roster, joining Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) and Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.). Agee tallied seven points and seven rebounds in the McDonald's High School All-America game in April. She is also a 2012 WBCA High School All-America honorable mention. She is a three-time Desert Sky League first team selection and was the league's Most Valuable Player as a junior. Additionally, she was the Daily Press Girls' Athlete of the Year. Agee was named to the All-Region first team as a junior. The center played her AAU ball with West Coast Premier. Agee also plays volleyball at Silverado High School.

The USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee announced the roster on May 21 after three days of trials at the USOTC. The 12-member squad, in addition to Agee, includes 2011 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S./Clarksville, Tenn.); Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.); Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.); Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Association/Glenn Heights, Texas); Alexis Prince (Edgewater/Orlando, Fla.); Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony H.S./Carson, Calif.); Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S/Sandersville, Ga.); Lexie Brown (North Gwinnett H.S./Suwanee, Ga.); Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S./Belmar, N.J.) and Brittney Sykes (University H.S./Newark, N.J.).

The squad will practice in San Juan on Aug. 14. The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and will open against Dominican Republic on Aug. 15. The USA will play Argentina on Aug. 16 and then face Colombia on Aug. 17 to wrap up preliminary pool play. The top two teams from each preliminary round group will be seeded and advance to the medal semifinals on Aug. 18. Winners of the semifinals will compete in the gold medal game to be played on Aug. 19. The USA women are the reigning FIBA Americas U18 champion after going 5-0 to win gold in 2010.

University of Miami head coach Katie Meier will serve as head coach of the U18 squad, while collegiate head coaches Nikki Caldwell of Louisiana State University and Kelly Graves of Gonzaga University will act as assistant coaches.

FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event was held every four years beginning in 1988. FIBA changed its calendar and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.

USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 38-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996. In fact, the USA has not lost a game at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship since 1996 and is riding a 24-0 winning streak into this year's competition.

Some of the athletes who have represented the U.S. in this event in the past include: Jayne Appel (2006); Alana Beard (2000); Kelsey Bone (2008); Tamika Catchings (1996); Marissa Coleman (2004); Skylar Diggins (2008); Sonja Henning (1988); Niesa Johnson (1992); Rebecca Lobo (1992); Maya Moore (2006); Chiney Ogwumike (2010); Nneka Ogwumike (2008); Candace Parker (2004); Courtney Paris (2004); Cappie Pondexter (2000); Nicole Powell (2000); Lynn Pride (1996); Diana Taurasi (2000); and Candice Wiggins (2004).

About USA Basketball Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

Since 2008, USA Basketball men's and women's teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men's and women's champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championship; FIBA women's U19 world champions; the men's and women's title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championship; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently lists No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.

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Last Updated August 10, 2012