Jocelyn Willoughby invited to USA Women’s U19 National Team trials
Virginia women’s basketball freshman guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) has been invited to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee to 33 players from across the nation. Six-time defending U19 gold medalists, the United States will look to make it seven gold medals in a row at the July 22-30 event in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy.
“These athletes represent the top talent our country has to offer at this age level,” said George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, chair of the selection committee. “This is a very versatile group that will give the coaching staff a lot of options. They are all tough competitors, and it is not going to be easy for us to pare it down to the final 12-member team. The committee feels we will be able to select from this group a team that will represent the USA well on and off the court, and these athletes have what it takes to win a seventh-straight gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup.”
Willoughby ended her collegiate rookie season by being named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and the All-ACC Academic Team. She was second among ACC freshmen in rebounding (6.2 per game) and scoring (9.8 per game) and leads the newcomers in steals per game. She became the first freshman to lead UVA in rebounding since Brandi Teamer in 2002 and the first freshman guard to do so since Chrissy Reese in 1980. Willoughby was also the only Cavalier to have two 20-point games this season.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, FIBA changed the names of its age-based world championships in 2005 to reflect the age of eligibility, and recently updated the names of all of its world championships to world cups. The tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA in 2005 modified its calendar and now conducts the U19 World Cup every other year. USA women’s teams are 73-12 in U19/Junior World Cups, capturing a sixth-consecutive gold in 2015 with a 7-0 record.
The USA was placed in Group A and will open the tournament against Mali on July 22, face China on July 23and cap the preliminary round against host Italy on July 25. Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded according to group play, and all participating teams will advance to the July 26 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 28 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 29, and the gold and bronze medal games are slated for July 30.