Basketball: Belibi, Onyenwere to play internationally with USA basketball


COLORADO SPRINGS | A pair of former Aurora prep girls basketball stars will get their passports stamped over the summer, as both recent Regis Jesuit grad Fran Belibi and 2017 Grandview grad Michaela Onyenwere have made USA teams set to play abroad.

Regis Jesuit grad Fran Belibi made the USA U19 World Cup Team set to play in Thailand in July. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/USAB)

Belibi, the Stanford-bound star who led the Raiders to the Class 5A semifinals this past season, made the roster of the USA U19 World Cup team, which was finalized May 19 after tryouts at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Belibi is part of a roster that will head to Bangkok, Thailand, July 20-28 to chase a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup. She has already brought home golds with the USA U17 World Cup team last summer as well as from the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

As a senior at Regis Jesuit, Belibi won Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American. The high-flying 6-foot-1 forward won the slam dunk contest prior to the McDonald’s game as well.

Former Grandview star and UCLA standout Michaela Onyenwere is headed to Peru with the USA Pan American Games Team in August. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/USAB)

Onyenwere — a McDonald’s All-American in 2017 and a three-time Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year at Grandview, which she led to a Class 5A state championship as a senior — made it on the 12-player U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team after tryouts that included 35 hopefuls.

As a sophomore at UCLA, the 6-foot forward started all 35 games for the Bruins and averaged 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds on her way to All-Pac 12 first team honors.

Onyenwere — who competed in the trials for a USA team for the first time since 2014 — is now part of a team that will play in the Pan American Games Aug. 6-10 in Lima, Peru.

The team has a training camp in Colorado Springs July 23-Aug. 5 before departing for the tournament.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2019 U.S. U19 World Cup Team Roster

FRANCESCA BELIBI (Regis Jesuit H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, USVI); Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.); Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa); Queen Egbo (Baylor/Houston, Texas); Naz Hillmon-Baker(Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.); Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.); NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).

2019 U.S. Pan American Games Roster

Bella Alarie (Princeton/Bethesda, Md.), Brittany Brewer (Texas Tech/Abilene, Texas), Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M/Mansfield, Texas), Kathleen Doyle (Iowa/Lagrange Park, Ill.), Tyasha Harris (South Carolina/Noblesville, Ind.), Taylor Mikesell (Maryland/Massillon, Ohio), Beatrice Mompremier (Miami/Miami, Fla.), MICHAELA ONYENWERE (UCLA/Aurora, Colo.), Mikayla Pivec (Oregon State/Lynnwood, Wash.), Lindsey Pulliam (Northwestern/Silver Spring, Md.), Kiana Williams(Stanford/San Antonio, Texas) and Peyton Williams (Kansas State/Topeka, Kan.).