May 7, 2013
Complete USA Basketball Release
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern incoming freshman Nia Coffey (Minneapolis, Minn./Hopkins) has accepted an invitation to participate in the USA Women's Basketball U19 World Championship Team Trials. The 6-1 forward is among thirty-four of the nation's top athletes age 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1994), including 13 who previously have helped USA Basketball earn gold in international competition, to accept.
Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Invitations to the trials were issued by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee and the final 12-member roster will be announced Sunday, May 19.
This is Coffey's third consecutive invitation to the world championship trials as she participated in the U16 trials in 2011 and the U17 trials in 2012.
The USA squad, which is on a quest to capture a fifth-consecutive gold medal at the U19 Worlds, will compete in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, hosted by Lithuania from July 18-28 in Klaipeda and Panevezys. The team will regroup for training on July 1 at the USOTC prior to traveling to Europe for the competition.
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 Panevezys, and opens against Lithuania on July 18, followed by China on July 19 and caps the preliminary round against Mali on July 20.
Coffey, who also received WBCA and McDonald's High School All-America honors, is one of four Wildcat newcomers that will join the team as incoming freshmen in the fall. NU head coach Joe McKeown's incoming class also includes Ashley Deary (Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound), guard Christen Inman (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes), who received 2013 WBCA High School All-America honorable mention accolades, and forward Allie Tuttle (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek).
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