Mitchell Invited to Train with USA Basketball
COLUMBIA, S.C. — University of South Carolina junior Tiffany Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) was invited to attend the USA Basketball Women‘s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas May 4-6, the organization announced today. She joins recent WNBA No. 1 draft pick Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm) and 2014 WNBA draftee Jen Hamson (Los Angeles Sparks) as additions to the camp that tips off training for the 2016 Olympic Games. “The [Player Selection] Committee has watched these three athletes compete at a high level collegiately, and they are all talented players,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women‘s National Team Director and chair of the selection committee. “We are always looking toward the future, and we feel that these camps not only help USA Basketball prepare for the next big event, which of course is the Olympic Games, but for competitions beyond 2016. “Part of our success internationally has come from evaluating and training younger athletes in settings such as this camp. While we haven‘t had the opportunity to see Jen Hamson with USA Basketball, Tiffany and Jewell have won gold medals at the junior level, and based on their past experiences in college and with Jewell and Tiffany internationally, we wanted to see how they competed on the USA National Team level.” “I‘m looking forward to next week‘s training camp,” said USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. “We are going to have a great mix of young athletes who are hungry for a spot on the team and many veterans who might need to work a little harder because of it. And of course we‘re bringing in three who could shake things up … Jewell Loyd and Tiffany Mitchell are two very talented guards, who I had the opportunity to see up close in games this year. They both gave my team a tough time, and I can‘t wait to see them working alongside players like Sue Bird and Lindsay Whalen.” Mitchell capped her junior season by winning The Dawn Staley Award and becoming the first Gamecock to be named a finalist for all three national player of the year awards – The Wooden Award, The Wade Trophy and The Naismith Trophy. The two-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year was among the league‘s top 10 scorers while also ranking in the top 15 in steals and assists. Her field goal and free throw percentages ranked her among the top 50 in the nation as well. Mitchell‘s previous USA Basketball experience includes a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Championships and participation in the 2010 USA U17 World Championship Team Trials. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will join Mitchell at the mini-camp as one of the assistant coaches named to the USA Basketball staff for the 2016 Olympic Games. The final 12-player 2016 U.S. Olympic Women‘s Basketball Team will be selected rom the 2014-15 USA National Team pool by the USA Basketball Women‘s National Team Player Selection committee. Chaired by Callan, the committee includes WNBA appointees Renee Brown (WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations), Dan Hughes (head coach and general manager of the San Antonio Stars) and Chris Sienko (vice president and general manager of the Connecticut Sun); and three-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Championship gold medalist Katie Smith, who played in nearly 200 games for USA Basketball (1993-2008) and serves as the athlete representative.