If it’s time for USA Basketball team trials, it seems like it’s a certainty that at least one player from UConn will be on hand to fight for roster spot. This week five players will be representing the Huskies at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck will be competing at the U-19 World Championship Team trials. All-Americans Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will be competing at the World University Games team trials. Both trials run today through Sunday.
The players have won a combined 13 gold medals as part of USA Basketball. Stewart has four (2012 U-18, 2011 U-19, 2010 U-17, 2009 U-16). Mosqueda-Lewis (2011 U-19, 2010 U-17, 2009 U-16) and Tuck (2012 U-18, 2011 U-19, 2010 U-17) have three. Hartley (2012 3×3, 2011 U-19) has two, and Jefferson has one (2012 U-18).
“I like it because they like it and I know the benefits that come from (playing with USA Basketball),’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “How they get a chance to interact with other players and the lure that USA Basketball has on our players at Connecticut is pretty strong. We feel like it’s a tremendous honor and a tremendous opportunity for our players to play USA Basketball and every chance that our players get I want them to take advantage of it.
“And the five of them that are going out there are going to be pretty important to both of those teams. So I hope they go out there, I hope they do well, which I know they will. And hopefully they’ll make the team and they get an opportunity to go play overseas against some really good competition and hopefully come back with more gold medals. Kind of add to our stash.’’
UConn Class of 2014 target A’ja Wilson, a 6-foot-4 wing from Hopkins, S.C., is also taking part in the U-19 trials.