Bellwood standout invited to USA Basketball Trials

Sophomore Alli Campbell led the Bellwood-Antis High School girls basketball team to a state championship in March, and now she’s taking her talents to the national level.

Campbell was one of 35 athletes from around the country to be invited to the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Cup Team Trials on May 24-28 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Expenses are taken care of for the 35 invitees.

“It’s truly an honor to be invited to the USA Trials,” Campbell said. “Anytime you get the opportunity to compete against the best players in the country, it’s exciting. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great experience.

“First and foremost, I hope to make the team. That’s my ultimate goal. Besides that, to be able to spend four days training with players from across the country and being coached by some of the best coaches is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Following the trials, the selected finalists will remain in Colorado Springs for training camp from May 28-31 and the naming of the official roster on May 31. The 12 selected team members will return to Colorado Springs to resume training camp July 4-20 in preparation for the FIBA World Cup in Belarus from July 21-29.

“Words can’t describe how I would feel if I made the team and was able to represent not only this area but my country,” Campbell said. “It would be such an honor and one that I would be extremely grateful for.”

The list of 35 includes all 12 members of last year’s gold-medal winning U16 national team and 16 other players who have participated in at least one previous USA Basketball event.

Campbell is one of six to take part in her first USA Basketball trials.

“We are excited to have such a talented group back to compete for roster spots on the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Cup Team,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball director, women’s national team and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental Committee, which is responsible for selecting the USA U17 athletes and staff. “The trials will feature many athletes with USA Basketball team or trials experience, and the group will be strengthened by new talent as well. All of the athletes at trials will have to compete against the best players at their age, and we look forward to seeing who rises to that challenge.”

Returning from the 2017 USA U16 national team are: tournament MVP Aliyah Boston (Worcester, Mass.); Fran Belibi (Centennial, Colo.); Samantha Brunelle (Ruckersville, Va.); Paige Bueckers (St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (West Des Moines, Iowa); Zia Cooke (Toledo, Ohio); Azzi Fudd (Falls Church, Va.); Jordan Horston (Columbus, Ohio); Diamond Miller (Somerset, N.J.); Jordyn Oliver (rosper, Texas); Celeste Taylor (Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Kylee Watson (Linwood, N.J.).

The 16 players who have taken part in at least one prior USA Basketball trials are Sarah Andrews (Irving, Texas); River Baldwin (Andalusia, Ala.); Cameron Brink (Beaverton, Ore.); Maddie Burke (Doylestown, Pa.); Sasha Goforth (Fayetteville, Ark.); Nyah Green (Allen, Texas); Treasure Hunt (Chattanooga, Tenn.); Angel Jackson (Richmond, Calif.); Rickea Jackson (Detroit, Mich.); Haley Jones (Santa Cruz, Calif.); Natalija Marshall (Forest Hills, N.Y.); Jordyn Merritt (Plano, Texas); Ramani Parker (Fresno, Calif.); Sydney Parrish (Fishers, Ind.); Ashten Prechtel (Colorado Springs, Colo.); and Angel Reese (Randallstown, Md.).

New to USA Basketball national team trials are Campbell, Jakia Brown-Turner (Temple Hills, Md.); Amari DeBerry (Williamsville, N.Y.); Elauna Eaton (Jonesboro, Ark.); Hannah Gusters (DeSoto, Texas); and Gabby Hutcherson (Columbus, Ohio).

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