Pierson Accepts Invite to Jones Cup Trials

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May 4, 2000

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Texas Tech freshman center Plenette Pierson is one of 45 of the country's top female collegiate basketball players, including 15 with prior USA Basketball experience, who have accepted invitations to attend the 2000 USA Basketball Women's Summer Development Camp/R. William Jones Cup Team Trials May 17-22 in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA Basketball Women's Select Committee announced today.

The USA Basketball event will combine off court seminars on topics such as life skills and sportsmanship with practice sessions and a four-team, round-robin tournament that will also serve as trials for the 2000 USA Basketball Women's R. Williams Jones Cup Team. The USA squad will compete in the R. Williams Jones Cup which will be held July 16-20 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The USA Basketball Jones Cup squad will be coached by Virginia Tech head mentor Bonnie Hendrickson, who served as an assistant coach on the gold medal winning 1999 USA Basketball Women's World University Games squad. St. Joseph's head coach Stephanie Gaitley and Grambling State head coach David "Rusty" Ponton have been slated as assistant coaches for the Jones Cup team.

The 12-member U.S. squad, which will be announced on May 22, will train July 3-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before departing on July 12 for the Jones Cup competition. The United States, the defending Jones Cup gold medalists, has collected eight gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals in 18 Jones Cup competitons and boasts a 110-22 (.833) overall record.

The USA Basketball R. William Jones Cup Team will reassemble on Aug. 29 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to begin training for a Sept. 3 exhibition game with the U.S. Women's Senior National Team. The contest, held at the University of Hawaii, will be nationally televised at 5 p.m. EST on espn2 and will be the final domestic exhibition game for the USA National Team before it leaves for Australia to continue preparations for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Included on the 2000 USA Basketball Women's Development Camp/Jones Cup Trials roster are: Chantelle Anderson (Vanderbilt/Vancouver, Wash.), Tombi Bell (Florida/Miami, Fla.), Sue Bird (Connecticut/Syosset, N.Y.), Erin Buescher (UC Santa Barbara/Rohnert Park, Calif.) Damita Bullock (UT-Chattanooga/Harrisburg, Pa.), Diana Caramanico (Pennsylvania/Blue Bell, Pa.), LaNeisha Caufield (Oklahoma/Ada, Okla.), Kaayla Chones (North Carolina State/Pepper Pike, Ohio), Rasheeda Clark (Pepperdine/Ontario, Calif.), Camille Cooper (Purdue/Georgetown, Ky.) Allison Curtin (Illinois/Stonington, Ill.), Marie Ferdinand (LSU/Miami, Fla.), Catrina Frierson (Louisiana Tech/Vicksburg, Miss.), Michelle Greco (UCLA/LaCrescenta, Calif.), Deanna Jackson (Alabama-Birimingham/Birmingham, Ala.), Nicole Kaczmarski (UCLA/Middle Island, N.Y.), Schuye LaRue (Virginia/Washington, D.C.), Erica Lawrence (George Washington/Nyack, N.Y.), ShaRae Mansfield (Western Kentucky/Lousiville, Ky.), Brandi McCain (Florida/Silsbee, Texas), Carolyn Moos (Stanford/Wayzata, Minn.), Jenny Mowe (Oregon/Powers, Ore.), Lori Nero (Auburn/Baton Rouge, La.), Loree Payne (Washington/Livingston, Mont.), Jennifer Phillips (Xavier/Elida, Ohio), Plenette Pierson (Texas Tech/Kingwood, Texas), Telisha Quarles (Virginia/Charlottesville, Va.), Felicia Ragland (Oregon State/Tulare, Calif.), Shea Ralph (Connecticut/Fayetteville, N.C.), Alicia Ratay (Notre Dame/Lake Zurich, Ill.), Jenny Roulier (Colorado/Englewood, Colo.), Kelly Schumacher (Connectictu/Quyon, Canada), Sabrina Scott (Colorado/Lake Oswego, Ore.), Lisa Shepherd (Penn State/Richmond, Ind.), Amy Simpson (North Carolina State/Reidsville, N.C.), Michelle Snow (Tennessee/Pensacola, Fla.), Jackie Stiles (Southwest Missouri State/Claflin, Kan.), Jesse Stomski (Wisconsin/Oakdale, Minn.), Ayana Walker (Louisiana Tech/Houston, Texas), Maren Walseth (Penn State/Bloomington, Minn.), Shaquala Williams (Oregon/Portland, Ore.), Tere Williams (Virginia Tech/Chapel Hill, N.C.), Lindsey Wilson (Iowa State/Seattle, Wash.), Brooke Wyckoff (Florida State/West Chester, Mo.) and Angela Zampella (St. Joseph's/Hoboken, N.J.).

Highlighting the USA invitees are 15 players with previous USA Basketball experience. Leading the way is Southwest Missouri State's Stiles who has played for three different USA Basketball teams. Stiles, who led the nation in scoring in 2000, was member of the 1998 Women's Select Team, the gold medal winning 1997 Junior World Championship Team and the 1996 Junior World Championship Qualifying Team. Also featured on multiple USA rosters is Wyckoff. Wyckoff suited up for USA Basketball on the 1998 Women's Select Team and last summer on the silver medal winning 1999 Women's World University Games Team. Joining Wyckoff on last summer's World University Games Team were Clark, Cooper, McCain and Walker. Other trials invitees who boast of prior USA Basketball experience include Buescher, who was a member of the gold medal winning 1998 R. William Jones Cup Team, Anderson, Chones and Rayay, who played on the bronze medal winning 1998 Women's World Youth Games Team, and Moos and Mowe, who teamed up to help lead the 1997 Women's Junior World Championship Team to the gold medal. Additionally, Shaquala Williams and Mowe were alternates for the USA Basketball 1999 Women's World University Games Team, while Buescher, Caufield, Moos, Snow and Stiles were all 1999 World University Games Trials participants.

Featured at this year's trials will be four players who garnered All-NCAA Tournament recognition and three players who received All-America honors. Final Four MVP Ralph, along with UConn, backcourt mate Bird, were both named to the 2000 NCAA Tournament's All-Final Four team, while Pierson and Shepherd garnered NCAA Tournament All-Regional honors. Receiving All-America status were Buescher (AP, third team), Ralph (AP, first team) and Stiles (U.S. Basketball Writers).

Fourteen different conferences and 34 schools have representation on the list with the Pacific 10 receiving top honors with seven players. The Southeastern Conference boasts six players, while the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 and the Big Ten feature five each.

Of the 45 players invited, 13 were selected to their all-conference first team. All-conference first team selections include, Big West Player of the Year Buescher, Bullock (Southern Conference), Ivy League Player of the Year Caramanico, Cooper (Big Ten), Curtin (Big Ten), Ferdinand (Southeastern Conference), Jackson (Conference USA), Mansfield (Sun Belt), Ragland (Pacific 10), Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Stiles, Big East Player of the Year Ralph, Pacific 10 Player of the Year Shaquala Williams and Tere Williams (Atlantic 10).




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