Team USA is adding garnet to the Red, White and Blue.
Three South Carolina players were selected for two American basketball teams during last week’s trials. A’ja Wilson, the Gamecocks’ SEC Freshman of the Year, will play for coach Dawn Staley in the FIBA Under-19 World Championships, while SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell and second-team All-SEC selection Alaina Coates will represent USC on the U.S. Pan American Games team.
Each of the three competed in Colorado Springs, Colo., last week. It’s Coates’ first international team, but Wilson and Mitchell are veterans.
Wilson was the MVP of the FIBA Under-18 championship team last summer on a team also coached by Staley. This year’s squad will head to Alicante, Spain, for a round-robin tournament with the finals in Chekhov, Russia, from July 18-26.
Coates and Mitchell made the Pan Am squad, which will compete in Toronto from July 16-20. Held every four years, the Pan Am games are limited to teams from North, South and Central America plus the Caribbean.
The two will see many familiar faces on their bench. National player of the year Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson of national champion Connecticut made the cut, in addition to Kentucky’s Linnae Harper and North Carolina’s Stephanie Mavunga.