UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Lady Lion sophomore center Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) and the USA Basketball U19 women's team will begin competition at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Lithuania on Thursday, July 18. The tournament will take place July 18-28.
Team USA opens pool play against the host Lithuanians at 11 a.m. (EDT) in Panavėžys, Lithuania. The United States will continue pool play against China on Friday at 1:15 p.m. (EDT) and close out the first round of competition against Mali on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. (EDT).
The FIBA U19 World Championship will be Agee's second international competition as she participated on the U18 USA Basketball squad that won the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in 2012. In the Lanzarote International Tournament last weekend, Agee collected six points on 3-of-4 shooting with five rebounds, a block and a steal in 11 minutes in a 78-49 win over Spain before hyperextending her knee. She was sidelined for the last game of the tournament as the Americans claimed the title with a win over Canada. Agee's status is currently listed as day-to-day.
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 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).
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 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.