USA hoops picks Norcross pair

In March, Kaela Davis and Diamond DeShields each turned 15 a week apart.

The two Norcross freshmen celebrated a Blue Devil state championship in between their birthdays, showing off the vast potential that basketball coaches and recruiting gurus have seen coming for years. Apparently USA Basketball has taken notice, too.

Davis and DeShields are two of the youngest players invited to this summer's Under-17 National Team Trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. They were selected by USA Basketball and the Developmental National Team Committee. The complete list of invited players won't be released until mid-April, but only around 30 players will be at the tryout.

"It's an amazing thing to be invited period, especially being invited as ninth-graders," Norcross girls head coach Angie Hembree said. "Whether they make the team or not, the fact that they were even considered is huge. I hope they enjoy it. It should be a lot of fun and I'm very, very proud of them."

The two Norcross stars will have an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of USA Basketball scouts, who select the teams that represent the U.S. in all international competitions. The under-17 team trials, scheduled for June 8-11, will be used to pick players for the World Championships (in Spain and France in July) and the Youth Olympic Games (in Singapore in August).

Davis, one of the team's top ballhandlers and 3-point shooters, averaged 13.8 points and 5.0 rebounds this season as the Blue Devils won their first girls AAAAA state championship. DeShields averaged 17.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, dominating with her interior defense, rebounding and scoring. Both players were first-team all-county selections by the Daily Post.

Both freshmen are the daughters of prominent former professional athletes. Davis' father is former NBA player Antonio Davis and DeShields' father, Delino DeShields, played major league baseball.