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Incarnate Word Academy’s Collier earns spot on Team USA’s 3×3 team

By: Warren Mayes


Incarnate Word Academy senior Napheesa Collier will be going to China next month.

Collier, who committed to the University of Connecticut earlier this spring, has been named to the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Women’s Basketball Team.

The team will take part in the 3×3 basketball competition in the second annual Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. The games, featuring 15 sports, will run from Aug. 16-28.

In addition to Collier, three USA Basketball veterans, including De’Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.), Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.), will be on the team.

All team nominations are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

The U.S. team will be led by head coach Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.), who will conduct training camp Aug. 11-13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, prior to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, but as per 3×3 rules will not be allowed to coach during games.

Collier who lives in O’Fallon, was recently selected to the USA under-18 women’s national team, which will compete in the FIBA Americas tournament in Colorado Springs in early August.

The USA women have been placed in Group B along with Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Egypt, Guam, Indonesia, Romania, Taiwan and Thailand. Playing in Group A will be Brazil, China, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Syria and Venezuela.

The basketball competition at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games is a 3×3 format organized by the International Olympic Committee and FIBA. The basketball competition is expected to include 20 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams, as well as a dunk contest for men and a shootout for women. Each team will be comprised of four players, and athletes eligible for this competition must have been born between Jan. 1, 1996 and Dec. 31, 1997.

All four USA players already boast of considerable USA Basketball experience.

Boykin, Ogunbowale and Samuelson are fresh off helping lead the USA to a gold medal and 7-0 record at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and last summer helped lead the USA to a gold medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Collier was recently named to the 2014 USA Basketball U18 National Team that will compete Aug. 6-10 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Boykin, Collier and Ogunbowale played on the 3×3 team Defend which rolled through the May 31-June 1 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 U18 National Championship with a 6-0 record to claim the title.

Additionally, Ogunbowale and Samuelson claimed gold as members of the 2013 USA 3×3 U18 World Championship Team that compiled an 8-1 record to win the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia. They were also members of Defend that won the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 U18 National Championship.

In 2013, Collier’s Primus team finished runner-up at the 2013 USA Basketball 3×3 National Championship and finished second at the 2013 USA Basketball 3×3 U18 National Championship.

Despite their underclassman status, taking home Gatorade State Player of the Year honors in 2013-14 were Boykin (Maryland), Ogunbowale (Wisconsin) and Samuelson (California). Collier was the 2012-13 Missouri Gatorade State Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Samuelson was a finalist for the 2014 Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year and listed on the 2014 USA Today All-USA Girls Basketball first team.

The inaugural Youth Olympic Games were held in 2010, and the event is scheduled for every four years.

The 2010 U.S. women’s team, which featured Briyona Canty, Andraya Carter, Amber Henson and Kiah Stokes, finished with a 6-1 record and in possession of the bronze medal after defeating Canada in its final game. The 2010 USA men’s team, which featured K.C. Caudill, Angelo Chol, Sterling Gibbs and Brandan Kearney, finished with a 5-2 record and in fourth place after falling to Greece in the bronze medal game.

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