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March 12, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State Lady Lion basketball head coach Coquese Washington has been selected to be an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team this summer. She will serve with the team's head coach Sherri Coale of Oklahoma and assistant coach Brian Giorgis of Marist. The World University Games will be played July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia. The staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
Washington is in her sixth season at Penn State and has led the Lady Lions to back-to-back Big Ten regular-season titles. This season, Penn State has maintained a Top 10 ranking all season in the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll and owns a 25-5 overall record and 14-2 mark in Big Ten play heading into the NCAA Tournament. Under Washington's tutelage, the Lady Lions have produced 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas and three-time All-Big Ten first team selection Alex Bentley. In addition, current Lady Lions Nikki Greene and Mia Nickson have also earned All-Big Ten accolades, while Dara Taylor was recently named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team.
This is Washington's first coaching position with USA Basketball, but she served on the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee from 2009-12. She is the fourth person with Lady Lion ties to coach a USA Basketball squad, joining Rene Portland, Suzie McConnell-Serio and Terri Williams-Flournoy. Portland was the head coach for the Olympic Festival team (1985), the U.S. Junior World team (1986, 1996, 1997) and World University Games squad (1999). She was also an assistant for the U.S. Junior World Team in 1993. McConnell-Serio and Williams-Flournoy were assistant coaches on the most recent World University Games team in 2011.
Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and held every other year, the World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born Jan. 1, 1989 through Dec. 31, 1995). USA Basketball considers athletes with remaining eligibility only.
Trials to select the 12-member team will take place May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., and approximately 35 players will be invited to trials by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. Returning home after trials conclude, the 12-member team, or finalists for the team, will resume training camp at the USOTC on June 25.
Including the USA and host Russia a total of 16 nations will compete in the 2013 World University Games women's basketball competition, which also will feature teams from Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and collected a record eight gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal. Further, since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled a 95-15 record. In 2011 the USA, led by 2012 NCAA National Player of the Year nominees Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins, as well as 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year Nneka Ogwumike, posted a 6-0 slate en route to the gold medal.
Notable among the list of WUG alumni are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore; as well as Olympians Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Anne Donovan, Pat Head (Summitt), Lisa Leslie, Katrina McClain, Suzie McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson and Lynette Woodward.
Chaired by Ohio State's Jim Foster, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (head coach, Vanderbilt University), Lindsay Gottlieb (head coach, University of California) and Joi Williams (head coach, UCF), as well as athlete representative Kara Lawson, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who has been a part of nine USA Basketball teams.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions. USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, men's and women's FIBA World Championships; women's FIBA U19 World Champions; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions; as well as winners of the women's FIBA 3X3 World Championship and 3x3 U18 World Championship.
Penn State won the Big Ten regular-season title with a 25-5 overall record and 14-2 mark in conference play. The Lady Lions are awaiting their NCAA Tournament fate until the bracket is announced on Selection Monday on March 18 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will take place March 23-26 at predetermined sites.
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