Boston, Henderson Named to USA AmeriCup Team
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina junior Destanni Henderson and sophomore Aliyah Boston are among the 12 players who earned spots on the 2021 USA Women’s AmeriCup Team, USA Basketball announced today. Led by South Carolina and U.S. National Team head coach Dawn Staley, the group will compete in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 11-19.
“I think the group came back really ready to go, in good shape and really determined to be ready for the tournament,” said Jennifer Rizzotti (Connecticut Sun president), chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and an assistant coach for the USA AmeriCup and Women’s National Teams. “Our camp here has been competitive and spirited, and we’ve learned a lot and progressed a lot and I’m excited about the team we’re able to provide Dawn for this upcoming tournament.”
This will be Boston’s fifth assignment with USA Basketball. She has helped the U.S. win gold at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup, 2018 Youth Olympic Games (3×3), 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup and 2017 FIBA U16 AmeriCup. Boston was named MVP of the U16 AmeriCup and was part of the All-Start Five at the U17 World Cup. Henderson helped the U.S. to bronze in the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup.
When the squad heads to Puerto Rico, the USA must finish in the top four to earn a spot in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournaments, and it will have to do so against two national teams who are also preparing to compete in the Olympics in just a few weeks this summer – Puerto Rico, which the USA will meet in pool play, and Canada, which is the other group at the event.
In the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup, the USA will play in Group B, facing Dominican Republic (June 12), Puerto Rico (June 13), Venezuela (June 14) and Argentina (June 15). Playing in Group A are Brazil, Canada, which could include Gamecock sophomore Laeticia Amihere, Colombia, El Salvador and Virgin Islands. After a rest day on June 16, the quarterfinals will be on June 17 and the semifinals on June 18. The third place and gold medal games are set for June 19.
The USA women have played in five previous FIBA AmeriCups, which has historically been used as a qualifier for an Olympics of FIBA World Cup. The U.S. has captured three gold medals (1993, 2007, 2019) and one silver medal (1997). It is 24-7 all-time in the event, including a perfect 11-0 mark over the past two AmeriCups (2007, 2019).
Continue to check GamecocksOnline.com and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball program.
2021 USA Basketball Women’s AmeriCup Team
Grace Berger, Indiana
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State
Veronica Burton, Northwestern
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Destanni Henderson, South Carolina
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Haley Jones, Stanford
Diamond Miller, Maryland
Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Sedona Prince, Oregon