COLORADO SPRINGS — Gwinnett basketball stars Kaela Davis of Buford and Diamond DeShields of Norcross have been selected to the Under-17 U.S. National Team after three days of Trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee announced the 12-player roster Sunday. Davis and DeShields, both juniors, are part of a team that will compete in the 2012 FIBA U-17 World Championships, scheduled for Aug. 17-26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The U.S. won the inaugural U-17 world title back in 2010.
DeShields is one of the team's most accomplished players as a two-time USA Basketball gold medalist, while Davis is one of six USA Basketball U-16 gold medalists on the roster.
"We want to pick the best team that can win a gold medal, and we think we've done that," said Carol Callan , USA Basketball Women's National Team Director and non-voting chair of the Developmental National Team Committee. "From moment one to the last moment of last night's session, all of the participants were in great shape and they played hard and well together. That makes the committee very pleased, but it also makes the decision more difficult. This is a team that has versatility, as we always are fortunate to have in our country. It has size and it has experience, but it also has two athletes that have emerged in the past year."
Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) will lead the U.S. team with assistant coaches Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the U.S. for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
"I'm really excited about our team," said Schneider, who is a finalist for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Committee's 2011 Developmental Coach of the Year after being named as a co-recipient of the 2011 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award. "I think we've got an excellent team with a lot of depth. I'm really excited about our guard play, the inside play and the athleticism of our perimeter players. I think we've got great size on the perimeter, in addition to inside. So, just with the athleticism and the talent involved, I think the committee did a great job."