COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Penn State Lady Lion sophomore center Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) has been selected to the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championships Team after a weekend at the USA Basketball Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. Agee, who is one of the 12 players named to the U19 roster, will now participate in the FIBA U19 World Championships in Lithuania from July 18-28. The team was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, chaired by UT Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster.
"Actually it was an experience for me to just take in and use for my freshman year and to try and get used to international play because it's so different from over here, it's so fast-paced and it's just going, going, going, so it helped me at the collegiate level of basketball," Agee said of her previous USA Basketball experience helping with her Trials experience this time. "I've been training really hard and dying to come back and make the team. I'm really excited and happy about it."
"I'm thrilled. The length is incredible, the talent, the diversity," said USA U19 and University of Miami head coach Katie Meier following the team announcement. "Everybody brings a little something different. That gives us a lot of choices as coaches in a lot of different ways that we can win basketball games. (The committee) put together what I think is the team that answers any type of a question. We have speed. We have quickness. We have size. We have shooters. They really made sure that they gave us every weapon."
Agee played for the USA Basketball U18 National Team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which qualified the U19 squad for the U19 World Championships. The center averaged 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.4 steals in five contests for the United States as it won the Gold Medal. Her best performance was an 11-point outing against the Dominican Republic in pool play. As a freshman at Penn State, Agee saw time in 26 games, accounting for 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game. She had a season-best eight points and nine rebounds in a dominating win over Fairleigh Dickinson. She also had eight tallies against Illinois and NJIT.
The USA will regroup for training on July 1 at the USOTC prior to traveling to Europe for a July 11-14 Spain-hosted tournament in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Featuring U19 squads from Australia, Canada and Spain, the tournament will be good test for the U.S. From there, the American women will travel to Lithuania in an attempt to defend gold.
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19-years-old or younger. While Lithuania earned an automatic berth to the tournament as host, the remaining 15 nations were determined by the five FIBA zone qualifiers in 2012. In addition to the U.S., nations qualified out of the FIBA Americas zone include Brazil (silver medalist), Argentina (bronze medalist) and Canada (fourth place). Senegal (gold medalist) and Mali (silver medalist) will represent FIBA Africa; advancing from FIBA Asia are China (gold medalist), Japan (silver medalist) and South Korea (bronze medalist); Australia took FIBA Oceania's spot after wining the best-of-three series against New Zealand; while FIBA Europe will be represented by France (gold medalist), Russia (silver medalist), Serbia (bronze medalist), Netherlands (fourth place) and Spain (fifth place).
Drawn into Group D, the U.S. will play its preliminary and second round games in PanevėÂžys, and opens against Lithuania on July 18, followed by China on July 19 and caps the preliminary round against Mali on July 20.
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group will advance to the second round, held July 22-24. The 12 nations qualifying for the second round will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with all results of games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second-round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The medal round will be played in Klaipeda, with the quarterfinals held on July 26, semifinals slated for July 27 and the gold medal game on July 28.
The Lady Lions won their second-straight Big Ten regular season title with a 26-6 overall record and 14-2 mark in conference play last season. Guided by two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year Coquese Washington, Penn State will return the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year in Maggie Lucas and Big Ten All-Defensive team choice Dara Taylor. The Lady Lions will also add an eight-player recruiting class that ranks in the Top 10 in the country.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2013 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Experience Camp (June 9-11), Elite Camp (June 22-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 20-22) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 2-4). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit GoPSUsports.com/camps and click on Girls Basketball Camp under Summer Camps.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.
FIBA U19 World Championship History
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA changed its calendar in 2006 and now conducts the U19 World Championship every other year. USA women's teams are 57-12 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing a fourth-consecutive gold with an 8-1 record most recently in 2011.
Numerous top athletes have represented the United States at the U19s, including Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Breanna Stewart (2011); Diana Taurasi (2001); Abby Waner (2005); and Candice Wiggins (2005). Additionally, eight athletes from the first seven USA U19 squads have advanced to compete in the Olympic Games, including Catchings, Leslie, Lobo, Moore, Pondexter, Smith, Staley and Taurasi.
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.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, men's and women's FIBA World Championships; women's FIBA U19 World Champions; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions; as well as winners of the women's FIBA 3X3 World Championship and 3x3 U18 World Championship.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.