11 All-Europeans to play in girls under-20 hoop tourney
May 5, 2006
Eleven American teens, six of them voted to DODDS’ 2006 All-Europe team, will represent the United States in an international girls under-20 basketball tournament this weekend in Charleroi, Belgium, according to U.S. organizer Frank Morandi of the International School of Brussels.
All-Europe first-teamers Kamiko Williams of Kaiserslautern, Kendra Lenoir of Ramstein and Megan Gibson and Caelan Crotty of ISB will be joined on the squad by second-teamers Ashley Jordan of SHAPE and Brittany Harris of Wiesbaden.
Rounding out the squad are Crystal Richardson and Sierra Stayback of Ramstein, Haley Weddle from Frankfurt International School, and two players from the American School of Paris, Kelly Korowski and Janine Houston.
The annual tournament is sponsored by the Espoirs Basket Feminin, a Belgian team, and, according to organizers, this is the first year an American team has competed.
Gil Grant, ISB’s boys coach, assisted by Kathy Kleha and Andy O’Connor of Ramstein, directs the team.
“We’re coming along well,” Morandi said by telephone Monday. “We’ve had three (five-hour) practices, one at Ramstein and two here, and scrimmaged the ISB and Ramstein boys.”
Morandi said the Americans will be tested early and often by the eight-team field, which includes the under-16 Dutch national team and the under-18 Belgian national team.
“We’re in a tough group,” Morandi said. “We play a Swedish club team at 7 p.m. Friday, then play the Belgian under-18s at 11 a.m. Saturday. We have an 8 p.m. game Saturday which will help determine when we play Sunday.”
Morandi said the team was adjusting to international rules.
“We’ve had officials come in to our scrimmages,” he said, “and the 24-second clock has never gone off. They’ve had no trouble with eight seconds to bring the ball over the center line, either.”
Morandi said he’s been impressed with the team’s freshmen, Jordan of SHAPE and Williams of K-town, a 14.7-point scorer and 10.8-rebounder, along with ASP’s Houston.
“She’s 6-1 and can play the point,” he said. “But she’ll play wing for us along with Williams and Crotty. Richardson and Jordan will handle the point. We’ll use (5-11) Gibson.”
Morandi added that the team was meshing well. “I wish we could keep them together year-round,” he said.
There is no admission charge for the games, which will be played at the Salle Ballens à Monceau in the town of Monceau-sur-Sambre on the west edge of Charleroi.