Alexis Jones has been named one of 12 members of the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team on Sunday, following four days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Duke University rising sophomore
Along with Jones on the U19 World Championship Team will be Candice Agee (Penn State), Nia Coffey (Northwestern), Bashaara Graves (Tennessee), Gabby Green, Linnea Harper (Kentucky), Moriah Jefferson (UConn), Kelsey Plum (Washington), Breanna Stewart (UConn), Morgan Tuck (UConn), Brianna Turner and A’ja Wilson. The 2013 FIBA U19 Championship will take place from July 18-28 in Lithuania.
A native of Irving, Texas, Jones will compete on her third USA Basketball team as she also played on the 2011 U19 National Team and the 2010 U18 National Team, which both won the gold medal. Jones is coming off a standout freshman campaign with the Blue Devils. The 5-8 rookie took over the point guard slot following Chelsea Gray’s injury in February and flourished. She averaged 13.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals in the final 11 games for the Blue Devils.
“It felt really good to know that I made the team again,” commented Jones. “We all worked hard in the tryouts to make the team. Coming out here and making the team again, I really felt good and I’m happy about making the team. The competition was really tough. There were a lot of guards out there, there were a lot of good posts, but it was fun and exciting.”
Jones earned ACC Tournament MVP accolades, after leading Duke to its eighth ACC Championship averaging 17.7 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals. She notched 24 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists in the ACC title game versus North Carolina to help clinch the championship. She finished the season with a team-best 144 assists. Jones was a Full Court Freshman All-America, All-ACC Freshman Team, All-ACC Academic Team and Norfolk Regional All-Tournament selection.
Leading the U19 squad will be head coach Katie Meier of Miami (Fla.) along with assistant coaches Nikki Caldwell (LSU) and Kelly Graves (Gonzaga).
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 winning 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 Panevė˛ys, 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.