Photo Courtesy of USA Basketball
Upcoming Sophomore Nevaeh Dean (Class of 2020) received little rest during this Memorial Day Holiday. While many were hosting barbecues and pool parties for the long weekend, Dean along with 132 others were at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado trying to earn one of 12 spots on the U16 USA Basketball National Team. The players who make the cut will wear the Red, White & Blue as a member of the USA Team at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women in Buenos Aires, Argentina starting June 7th.
The trials were also a learning opportunity for Dean and the other hopefuls as she sat through two different seminars including a leadership seminar titled “Becoming a Champion” followed by 90 minutes of shooting and footwork fundamental exercises with Carla Berube, head coach of the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings also spoke to the group about leadership after receiving her 2016 Olympic ring from USA Basketball.
After a day of scrimmages, Dean saw her name on the list of 88 participants remaining in the trials. One of only six from the state of Ohio. Later that evening, the list was cut to 64, but Dean failed to make the list. However, at only 15 years old, she could have another opportunity to participate next year and she doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Dean’s Lakota West teammate, Abby Prohaska, was cut when she tried out for the U16 team in 2015, but came back and made the U17 team the next summer in 2016.
“We are really proud of her. She’s a great teammate, has great work ethic and very coachable. Nevaeh always represents herself, family and Lakota West with pride,” said Lakota West Head Coach Andy Fishman.