May 9, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State women’s basketball players Cierra Bravard and Natasha Howard have accepted invites to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team Trials, which will take place May 22-25 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Invitations to the trials were issued to 35 of the nation’s top women’s college basketball players by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president for Division I women’s basketball.
“We truly are looking forward to an incredible group of talent at the World University Games Team Trials,” Donohoe said. “Many of these players have been involved with USA Basketball in the past, and those that are new to the process have experience at some of the country’s best programs. It will be a tough task for the committee to identify the 12-member team, and we look forward to seeing a lot of heart and hard work.”
Bravard burst on to the national basketball scene as a result of her best season at FSU.
As a junior, the Sandusky, Ohio native led the Seminoles in a multitude of categories, including scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. All of her statistics in those categories were career highs. In guiding Florida State to the NCAA Tournament for a school-record seventh consecutive time, Bravard was named an All-ACC First Team selection and honorable mention All-American.
Howard came to FSU as the most highly-touted prospect in program history and didn’t disappoint in year No. 1.
The Toledo, Ohio native started every game for the Seminoles and averaged double-figure scoring. Howard was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and was a Third Team Freshman All-American.
Iowa State University’s Bill Fennelly has been tabbed head coach of the 2011 USA World University Games Team, while Suzie McConnell-Serio of Duquesne University and Terri Williams-Flournoy of Georgetown University will serve as assistant coaches. The trio will look to defend the USA’s 2009 gold medal at the 2011 World University Games women’s basketball competition August 14-21 in Shenzhen, China.
Additionally, Kenya Larkin-Landers (Trinity Valley Community College, Texas) and Mark Youngs (Davenport University, Mich.) have been selected court coaches and will assist during trials.
Following the selection of the team and/or finalists on May 25, the athletes will return home. Training will resume at the USOTC July 31-Aug. 8, prior to the team’s departure for Shenzhen, China, and the 2011 World University Games.
The World University Games are a multi-sport competition organized every other year by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The U.S. women’s basketball team will be comprised of U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled in college and have remaining eligibility.