May 6, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore Courtney Vandersloot is one of 29 players who have accepted invitations to participate in the USA Women's World University Games Team Trials.
Vandersloot, from Kent, Wash., had a break out year as a sophomore, being named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, along with the WCC Tournament Most Valuable Player. She averaged 7.5 assists per game, third most in the nation. Vandersloot also averaged 16.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per contest. Vandersloot becomes the first women's player in Zag history to earn an invite to a USA Team Trial.
"This is such an honor," stated Vandersloot. "I am extremely excited about the opportunity but it is also a very humbling experience for me. To be allowed this opportunity to share the court for four days with such high caliber athletes, along with the possibility of represented the United States is just amazing."
Junior Heather Bowman also received an invitation but had to decline due to an injury she suffered weeks before the Zags season was completed. Bowman, who finished the 2008-09 season ranked 20th in the nation in scoring at 19.4 per game, tore the labrum in her shooting shoulder a week before the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Spokane native played the final four games of the Bulldog season with a protective wrap on her right shoulder before having surgery to repair the tear in early April.
Featuring four two-time USA Basketball gold medalists in Jayne Appel (Stanford), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Maya Moore (Connecticut) and Kayla Pedersen (Stanford), the 2009 USA Women's World University Games National Team Trials roster includes 29 of the nation's best college athletes who will contend for one of 12 roster spots on the 2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team. The trials invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
Trials to select finalists for the 2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The selected finalists will return to Colorado Springs on June 18 for training camp and train in Colorado until the team departs for Belgrade on June 25. The 12-member team will be named prior to the team's departure for Serbia. The World University Games is a multi-sport competition organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The 2009 women's basketball competition will take place July 1-11 in Belgrade, Serbia. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
In addition to Vandersloot, Appel, Lavender, Moore and Pedersen, the 2009 USA Women's World University Games National Team Trials Roster features: Danielle Adams (Jefferson Junior College); Jessica Breland (North Carolina); Doreena Campbell (UCLA); Tina Charles (Connecticut); Alysha Clark (Middle Tennessee State); Cetera Degraffenreid (North Carolina); Dawn Evans (James Madison); Tyra Grant (Penn State); Alexis Gray-Lawson (California); Whitney Hand (Oklahoma); Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut); Allison Hightower (LSU); Ashley Houts (Georgia); Ify Ibekwe (Arizona); Amy Jaeschke (Northwestern); Danielle McCray (Kansas); Jacinta Monroe (Florida State); Ta'Shia Phillips (Xavier); Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford); Epiphanny Prince (Rutgers); Alex Rack (Mississippi); Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma); Carolyn Swords (Boston College); Natasha Vital (California).
After assisting the USA women to a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, Arizona State University's Charli Turner Thorne returns to the USA sideline as head coach of the 2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team, with Suzy Merchant of Michigan State University and Julie Rousseau of Pepperdine University serving as assistant coaches.