COLORADO SPRINGS | Fran Belibi is headed to Belarus with USA Basketball.
The Regis Jesuit senior-to-be made the final 12-player roster for the U17 team that is headed to play in the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup July 21-29.
Belibi was one of 158 hopefuls that went through tryouts over several days at the Olympic Training Center, made the cut to 18 over the weekend and then made the final roster that was announced by USA Basketball Wednesday evening.
The U17 team is coached by Carla Berube of Tufts University, who knows Belibi well as she coached her last summer on the gold-medal winning U16 team that played in the FIBA Americas tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“I’m really excited – thrilled with the 12 the committee selected,” Berube said in a release from USA Basketball. “I think it’s a great combination of players that complement each other really well. I’m excited to get back here in July and get to work, and get us prepared to win the gold in Belarus.
“I think we have some great inside players with some great experience with Aliyah (Boston), Fran (Belibi) and Sam Brunelle, who have been here with their leadership, along with some great guard play and the experience from last year. I think they also selected a couple of newcomers that will also help us out. I’m just excited to work with all 12.”
Belibi is joined by seven other returners from last season’s U16 team in Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy/St. Thomas, USVI), Samantha Brunelle (William Monroe H.S./Ruckersville, Va.), Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.), Zia Cooke (Rogers H.S./Toledo, Ohio), Azzi Fudd (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Arlington, Va.), Jordan Horston (Columbus Africentric Early College/Columbus, Ohio) and Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran H.S./Valley Stream, N.Y.).
The final selections return to Colorado Springs July 4 to begin a training camp in preparation for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup at Minsk’s Sport Palace and Falcon Club in Minsk, Belarus.
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand and Spain join the United States in the competition.
The U17 team is set for a round robin tournament in Liepaja, Latvia, prior to its trip to Minsk.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
2018 USA WOMEN’S U17 WORLD CUP ROSTER
Name, High School, Hometown, Height, Weight
- FRAN BELIBI, REGIS JESUIT H.S., Centennial, CO, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds
- Aliyah Boston, Worcester Academy, St. Thomas, USVI, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds
- Cameron Brink, Southridge H.S., Beaverton, Oregon, 6-foot-4, 160 pounds
- Sam Brunelle, William Monroe H.S., Ruckersville, Va., 6-foot-2, 165 pounds
- Paige Bueckers, Hopkins H.S., St. Louis Park, Minn., 5-foot-11, 140 pounds
- Zia Cooke, Rogers H.S., Toledo, Ohio, 5-foot-9, 135 pounds
- Azzi Fudd, St. John’s College H.S. (D.C.), Arlington, Va., 5-foot-11, 165 pounds
- Jordan Horston, Columbus Africentric Early College, Columbus, Ohio, 6-foot, 139 pounds
- Haley Jones, Archbishop Mitty H.S., Santa Cruz, Calif., 6-foot-1, 160 pounds
- Charisma Osborne, Windward School, Inglewood, Calif., 5-foot-8, 150 pounds
- Celeste Taylor, Long Island Lutheran H.S., Valley Stream, N.Y., 5-foot-11, 135 pounds
- Hailey Van Lith, Cashmere H.S., Wenatchee, Wash., 5-foot-9, 155 pounds