Ferdinand Travels to Hawaii to Face U.S. Olympic Team

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Ferdinand Travels to Hawaii to Face U.S. Olympic Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Basketball Women’s Select Team, which features 11 of the 12 team members who captured gold in this summer’s R. William Jones Cup including LSU’s Marie Ferdinand, reassembled on Aug. 29 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to begin training for a Sept. 3 exhibition game against the USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team.

The contest, held at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center, will be nationally televised on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. (Hawaiian time) and will be the final domestic exhibition game for the USA Senior National Team before it leaves for Adelaide, Australia, to continue its preparations for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

The first USA Women’s Select Team practice is Wednesday, Aug. 30, followed by two practices on Aug. 31, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The team will train at the University of Hawaii Gym 2 on Sept. 1 from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. and on Sept. 2 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.

The USA Basketball Women’s Select Team features four players that competed in the 2000 Women’s NCAA Finals: Sue Bird (Syosset, N.Y.), Shea Ralph (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Kelly Schumacher (Quyon, Canada) of 2000 NCAA champion University of Connecticut and Michelle Snow (Pensacola, Fla.) of NCAA runner-up University of Tennessee.

Also included on the squad are: Chantelle Anderson (Vanderbilt / Vancouver, Wash.); Bird; Camille Cooper (Purdue / Georgetown, Ky.); Ferdinand (LSU / Miami, Fla.); Deanna Jackson (Alabama-Birmingham / Brewton, Ala.); Brandi McCain (Florida / Silsbee, Texas ); Loree Payne (Washington / Livingston, Mont.); Ralph; Schumacher; Snow; Jackie Stiles (Southwest Missouri State / Claflin, Kan.) and Brooke Wyckoff (Florida State / West Chester, Ohio).

Virginia Tech head coach Bonnie Henrickson will lead the USA Basketball Women’s Select team for the second time this summer. St. Joseph’s University (Pa.) head coach Stephanie Gaitley and Grambling State University (La.) head mentor David “Rusty” Ponton will serve as assistant coaches. Henrickson was an assistant coach for the silver-medalist 1999 World University Games team that went 4-2, while Gaitley was the head coach of the silver-medalist West team in the 1995 Olympic Festival that finished with a 2-2 overall record. This is Ponton’s first appointment with USA Basketball.

“We’ve got a great combination of athleticism and skill,” said Henrickson. “We’re pretty strong in the post and we’ve got perimeter players who understand that they are going to have to handle the pressure to find those guys inside. I think the committee did a nice job and picked a good team.”

The 12-member team, which was chosen by the USA Basketball Women’s Select Team Committee, competed July 16-20 in the R. William Jones Cup Tournament held in Taipei, Taiwan. The group of U.S. college standouts cruised past opponents in convincing style, rolling to a 4-0 record to claim the USA’s ninth gold medal in the tournament.

Ralph led the balanced U.S. scoring effort with 12.0 ppg., while Ferdinand was credited with 11.8 ppg., Schumacher added 9.8 ppg. and Jackson contributed 9.5 ppg.

Led by the efforts of Cooper and Schumacher’s 7.3 rebounds per game apiece, the U.S. outrebounded opponents by a whopping margin of 27.8 rebounds a game. Bird led the squad in assists with 17 and Ralph and Ferdinand both had a team-high seven steals and Schumacher blocked five shots over four games.

“It was exciting to finish 4-0. It was a great experience from the first practice to the gold medal game,” Henrickson said at the end of the R. William Jones Cup tournament in Taiwan. “This team is very unselfish and has great chemistry. The overall experience will help us prepare for the next step of playing the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team.”

USA Basketball Women’s Select Team Training Schedule
Aug. 30 8-9:30 p.m. Practice University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center
Aug. 31 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Practice University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center
Aug. 31 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Practice University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center
Sept. 1 8:30 -10 a.m. Practice University of Hawaii Gym 2
Sept. 2 3:30 p.m.- 5 p.m. Practice University of Hawaii Gym 2