June 24, 2003
USA Basketball and the Big 12 Conference announced today that the United States will be represented this summer at the 22nd World University Games women's basketball competition by a Big 12 Conference Women's All-Star Team.
The Big 12 All-Star Team will compete in the biennial event, which will be held this summer in Daegu, South Korea, Aug. 20-31, 2003. The World University Games, held every two years and organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), is a multi-sport competition open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28 (born between Jan. 1, 1973 and Dec. 31, 1985) and who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university. The 2005 World University Games are scheduled to be played in Imir, Turkey.
Iowa State University head coach Bill Fennelly will serve as head coach of the USA World University Games Team. University of Missouri head coach Cindy Stein and ISU assistant coach Latoja Harris will complete the staff. Dru Hancock, Big 12 Associate Commissioner, will serve as the conference liaison. The roster is in the process of being finalized. Both the coaching staff and team member selections are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"USA Basketball is very pleased to have the Big 12 Conference represent the United States in the 2003 World University Games," said USA Basketball President Tom Jernstedt. "Not only will this be an excellent competitive experience for the athletes, but a tremendous cultural experience as well."
"The Big 12 Conference is honored and excited to have our women's basketball all-star team represent the country at the World University Games," said Hancock. "This is a unique opportunity, both competitively and culturally, and we know our student-athletes and coaches will be enriched by the experience."
Fennelly will begin his ninth year as head coach at Iowa State in 2003-04. He has compiled a 174-75 record in eight seasons at ISU and holds a career record of 340-128 in 15 years. He has led the Cyclones to all six of the school's NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Elite Eight in 1999. His squads captured a share of the 2000 Big 12 championship and won the 2000 and 2001 conference tournament titles.
Stein will enter her sixth year as head coach of Missouri next season. She has an 84-66 record in five years at MU and is 149-91 overall in eight seasons. She has led the Tigers to four straight postseason appearances (3 WNIT/1 NCAA Tournament), including the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16.
Harris, who played for Fennelly at Toledo, joined the ISU staff in 1997 after playing professional basketball overseas for three years.
"I am truly honored to be coaching the Big 12 all-star team at the World University Games this summer. It has always been a dream of mine to coach for the United States," said Fennelly. "We will have a very talented team and I am looking forward to what should be a great experience."
This marks the third Big 12 Conference women's all-star team and the sixth overall. Big 12 men completed tours in 1998, 2000 and 2002. The first women's all-star team went 5-1 in 1999 while playing games in Finland and Sweden. The 2001 Big 12 women's squad was 5-0 in its tour through Austria, Germany and the Slovak Republic.
This summer's World University Games basketball competition field is not yet known. Unlike the Olympics, World Championship, and other FIBA competitions, the World University Games is not an event for which nations need to qualify. Countries wishing to compete in the WUGs need only apply before the 2003 women's basketball maximum allotted number of teams is filled.
The 2001 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team, which included Big 12 standouts Caton Hill (Oklahoma) and Jenny Roulier (Colorado), finished 7-1 and defeated host China 87-69 to claim the gold medal at the 2001 World University Games in Beijing, China. The United States has compiled an overall World University Games record of 74-15 (.833 winning percentage) and has earned 12 medals in 13 competitions, including five golds, six silvers and one bronze medal.
A total of nine players from Big 12 Conference schools have competed in past World University Games, including Colorado's Jenny Roulier and Lisa Van Goor (1981); Kansas' Lynette Woodard (1979); Kansas State's Laurie Miller (1977); Oklahoma's Hill; Texas' Kamie Ethridge (1985), Andrea Lloyd (1985), Annette Smith (1983) and Beverly Williams (1987).