When USA Basketball released its nine-player roster for the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup, Arizona forward Lauren Ware wasn’t on the list. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she won’t be in Debrecen, Hungary with the team in August, though.
Ware was named a finalist for the squad on Sunday. She will return to training camp in Colorado Springs in mid-July to compete for one of the final three spots along with Amari DeBerry of Williamsville South High School (Buffalo, NY), Angel Reese of Maryland, Maddy Westbeld of Notre Dame, and Jersey Wolfenbarger of Northside High School (Fort Smith, Ark.).
Ware appeared in all 27 of Arizona’s games on the Wildcats’ run to the national title game and was named Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention. She finished second on the team in blocked shots (30) and fourth in rebounds (3.8 RPG) in 16.1 minutes per game.
What this means for Ware’s future on the Arizona volleyball team is unclear. While she came to Arizona citing the willingness of basketball head coach Adia Barnes and volleyball head coach Dave Rubio to work together to allow her to play both sports, she skipped last volleyball season when it was moved to spring. Her intention at the time was to compete with volleyball when it moved back to its regular fall season in August 2021, but Barnes stated several times during the season that Ware could really excel at basketball if she concentrated on that sport.
The rising sophomore will be trying to make the 12-player roster led by UCLA head coach Cori Close. Close was an assistant coach for the 2019 U19 World Cup team that won a gold medal in Thailand.
This year’s event will be held from August 7-15. Team USA was placed in Group A where they will face Italy, Australia, and Egypt. The U.S. has won the event eight of the 13 times it has been held, defeating Australia in overtime in 2019.