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Tuesday, April 19, 2011
New crop announced for USA

By Chris Hansen

Diamond DeShields
Diamond DeShields returns to USA Basketball with plenty of experience.

Diamond DeShields, who won a FIBA Americas gold medal a year ago with the USA Basketball U18 national team, headlines the 35-player group that will try out for a spot on the U16 national team that will compete this summer in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Merida, Mexico.

DeShields, a sophomore at Norcross (Ga.) High School, will come in as the only player with FIBA competition experience but she isn't the only player to experience the team trials. She will be joined by Kaela Davis, a sophomore at Buford (Ga.) High School, who also was a part of the U17 and U18 team trials with DeShields last spring.

The field of invitees includes 17 players from the 2013 class and 18 from the 2014 class and will compete May 26-30 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The USA Basketball selection committee will pick 12 players to form the team that will be headed by head coach Jill Rankin Schneider and assistants Gail Hook and Letitia Hughley. (For more on the coaches, visit

These 35 participants will be joined by a select group of applicants who can submit paperwork to USA Basketball by May 10, for a chance to be included in the team trials. This supplementary group will have to provide their own travel arrangements for the trials.

Class of 2013 Invitees

Alaina Coates -- 6-4 Post -- Irmo, SC
Kendall Cooper -- 6-3 Post -- Carson, CA
Kaela Davis -- 6-2 Wing -- Suwanee, GA
Diamond DeShields -- 6-1 Wing -- Norcross, GA
Makayla Epps -- 5-10 Guard -- Lebanon, KY
Allisha Gray -- 5-11 Guard -- Sandersville, GA
Rebecca Greenwell -- 6-1 Guard -- Owensboro, KY
Linnae Harper -- 5-7 Guard -- Chicago, IL
Jessica Jackson -- 6-2 Forward -- Jacksonville, AR
Stephanie Mavunga -- 6-3 Forward -- Indianapolis, IN
Erica McCall -- 6-3 Forward -- Bakersfield, CA
Taya Reimer -- 6-3 Forward -- Fishers, IN
Mercedes Russell -- 6-5 Post -- Springfield, OR
Karlie Samuelson -- 6-0 Guard -- Huntington Beach, CA
Jannah Tucker -- 6-0 Wing -- Randallstown, MD
Sydney Umeri -- 6-1 Forward -- Acworth, GA
Kendall Waters -- 6-1 Forward -- San Ramon, CA

Class of 2014 Invitees

Recee' Caldwell -- 5-8 Guard -- San Antonio, TX
Sierra Calhoun -- 6-0 Guard -- Brooklyn, NY
McKenzie Calvert -- 5-9 Guard -- Schertz, TX
Jordin Canada -- 5-6 Guard -- Los Angeles, CA
LaJahna Drummer -- 6-2 Wing -- Los Angeles, CA
Courtney Ekmark -- 6-0 Guard -- Phoenix, AZ
Mackenzie Engram -- 6-2 Forward -- Powder Springs, GA
Gabby Green -- 6-0 Guard -- Oakland, CA
Taryn Griffey -- 5-6 Guard -- Windermere, FL
Erin Mathias -- 6-3 Post -- Pittsburgh, PA
Kelsey Mitchell -- 5-7 Guard -- Cincinnati, OH
Jaime Nared -- 6-1 Guard -- Portland, OR
Alyssa Rice -- 6-2 Post -- Reynoldsburg, OH
Chastity Taylor -- 5-10 G -- Melville, NY
Brianna Turner -- 6-3 Forward -- Pearland, TX
Mikayla Venson -- 5-7 Guard -- Arlington, VA
Makayla Waterman -- 6-2 Post -- Dayton, OH
Jatarie White -- 6-3 Post -- Charlotte, NC

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Chris Hansen is the national director of prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college basketball prospects nationally for A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at