Sophomore Lauren Ware gave up her drive to be a two-sport athlete after a magical opening season with Arizona women’s basketball. USA Basketball just validated that choice by naming Ware to the U19 FIBA World Cup team that will compete in Debrecen, Hungary on Aug. 7-15.
HUGE shoutout to @laurenmarieware on being named to the @usabasketball U19 World Cup Team‼️— Arizona Women's Basketball (@ArizonaWBB) July 19, 2021
Lauren will head to Hungary to start competition on August 7th.#MadeForIt | #BearDown pic.twitter.com/LiEobTLKBn
Ware attended the initial trials back in May. When that camp ended, nine players were named to the team. Five others were named finalists for the remaining three spots on the team. Ware was one of the five 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 joins DeBerry and Wolfenbarger as the final three members of the team. The trio will play alongside the nine others who were previously named to the squad: Lauren Betts of Grandview H.S. (Centennial, Colo.), Sonia Citron of The Ursuline School (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Caitlin Clark of Iowa; Sania Feagin from Forest Park High School (Ellenwood, Ga.), Azzi Fudd of St. John’s College High School, D.C. (Arlington, Va.), Diamond Johnson North Carolina State, Te-Hina Paopao from Oregon, Jewel Spear of Wake Forest, and Payton Verhulst of Louisville.
Ware is new to USA Basketball. Most of the other players have attended trials or played on Team USA for traditional 5x5, or they have participated in 3x3 USA Basketball National Championships. Six of them have won at least one gold medal in international competition.
The team will be coached by a trio of Division I head coaches led by UCLA head coach Cori Close. Her staff consists of Aaron Johnston of South Dakota State and Joni Taylor of Georgia.
The group will meet in Washington, D.C. where they will train at Sidwell Friends School from July 21-27. After that, they will head to Hungary for the competition.
Ware appeared in all 27 games on Arizona’s run to the national title game and was named Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention. She averaged 3.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and finished second on the team in blocked shots (30) and fourth in rebounds (3.8 RPG) in 16.1 minutes per game.
Team USA was placed in Group A where they will face Italy, Australia, and Egypt. Their opening game will be against Italy on Aug. 7. They will face Australia on Aug. 8, then go against Egypt on Aug. 10.
The U.S. has the top-ranked girls program in FIBA. Italy is ranked No. 5 with Australia close behind at No. 7. Egypt is ranked 25th. The Americans have won the U19 World Cup eight of the 13 times it has been held, defeating Australia in overtime in 2019.