June 15, 2007
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Auburn rising junior DeWanna Bonner has been named to the 2007 USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team. Bonner was one of 12 named to the team, which will look to defend its world title at the FIBA Women's U21 World Championship, held this year June 29-July 8 in Moscow, Russia.
"It is a great honor to not only represent Auburn but to be able to play for my country," Bonner said. "It will be a great experience to be competing with some of the nation's best players and hopefully we will be able to defend the world title."
The selections were made by a subcommittee of the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball.
"This is a fantastic group, I'm really excited about this group," said USA U21 National Team and Duke University (N.C.) head coach Joanne P. McCallie. "They're all very talented and it's going to be fun to go from being individually elite to building an elite team. That's the process we're in right now. I think we've gotten better every day and I definitely have the confidence that every single one of these players will be able to help us in various ways. The excitement surrounding the team now is taking it to the next level as we work toward the U21 World Championship."
The USA concludes its domestic training this evening at 5:00 p.m. MT at the U.S. Olympic Training Center Sports Center in Colorado Springs. The squad will then travel to Antibes, France, for a June 18-25 training camp prior to the start of the U21 World Championship on June 29 in Moscow. While in France, the U.S. will play a three-game series against the French U21 National Team at 7:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. ET) on June 18, 19 and 20.
"I think it's great for us to be able to play these three games against France," said McCallie. "All competition is great, just to get after it and test ourselves out a little bit is what we really need. Getting over the pond and heading in the direction we need to go will be great for everybody. I believe this team is excited and ready to play against a foreign team. To get after that kind of competition after playing so much against themselves this week will be what we need to take the next steps in our preparation for Russia."
Included on the squad are seven who helped the U.S. qualify for the FIBA U21 World Championship and a total of nine who have won gold medals in international competition. The seven athletes who return from the 2006 USA U20 National Team that captured the gold medal in Mexico City, Mexico, include Anderson, Bonner, Carson, Packer, Paris, Vaughn and Wisdom Hylton.
The United States was placed in Group B in the 12 nation 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship along with Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan and Spain. Group A includes Belgium, Canada, China, Mali, France and Russia. The United States will take on Australia on June 29 at 11:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m. CT), Brazil on June 30, Hungary on July 1, Spain on July 3 and Japan on July 4. Quarterfinal action begins July 6 with the semifinals to follow on July 7. The finals will be played on July 8.
Tiger fans can check up on Bonner's progress with USA U21 Worlds squad updates, as well as insider information in the journal entry on www.auburntigers.com.
2007 USA Women's U21 World Championship Team
Jolene Anderson - G, Wisconsin
DeWanna Bonner - G, Auburn
Essence Carson - G, Rutgers
Laura Harper - F/C, Maryland
Ashley Houts - G, Georgia
Crystal Langhorne - C/F, Maryland
Marscilla Packer - G, Ohio State
Courtney Paris - C, Oklahoma
Kia Vaughn - C, Rutgers
Abby Waner - G, Duke
Candice Wiggins - G, Stanford
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton - F, 2008 Purdue
* Photos provided by Steven Maikoski, USA Basketball