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Ricketts begins training camp for World U19s

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ricketts begins training camp for World U19s

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas freshman guard C’eira Ricketts arrived at USA Basketball’s Women’s U19 training camp yesterday to the news that she has made the team that will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of the month.As the select players assembled for the week-long training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the selection staff finalized the USA Women’s U19 squad. Two players who were finalists for the team were forced to withdraw due to injury.Ricketts becomes the second Razorback to represent the university on America’s world competition youth squad. Former All-American and current WNBA veteran Shameka Christon participated in back-to-back age-level FIBA or world competition teams.“We are really excited that C’eira will have this opportunity to compete at the international level,” Razorback women’s basketball coach Tom Collen said. “Representing the USA is a once in a lifetime experience. We are very proud of her here in Arkansas. We hope she can capitalize on this experience and continue to improve her game.”Team USA includes the Southeastern Conference’s Co-Freshmen of the Year with Ricketts and LSU’s LaSondra Barrett.Training camp began on July 9 with twice-a-day practices for most of the time in Colorado Springs. The team departs for Thailand on July 17, and will continue practices until the start of the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship on July 23.The 2009 U19 event includes 16 national teams composed of players born on or after Jan. 1, 1990. The teams begin with group play on July 27-29 before second round and quarterfinal games only July 31. The semifinals are Aug. 1 with the championship game set for Aug. 2.The U.S. is in Group D which includes China, Mali and Spain. The Americans open with Spain on July 23, and then play China on July 24 and Mali on July 23.Head coach for the U19 team is Carol Owens of Northern Illinois, assisted by Florida head coach Amanda Butler and Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly.“I think this team offers multiple offensive weapons and has a lot of versatility,” Owens said to USA Basketball. “They are a great group of young ladies that will represent our country with class. Overall I would like to have an intense and productive training camp. Three things I would like to accomplish are: build team chemistry, establish our offensive and defensive philosophy and prepare the team for the level of competition we will be facing in Bangkok.”



Sports Category : Basketball (W)