USA Basketball & Winston-Salem Stealers
2012 U17 Selection Committee Members: Jody Patrick, Brian Robinson, Ruthie Bolton, (USA Director) Carol Callan, and Sue Phillips.
USA Basketball is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. USA Basketball is where our country’s future Olympians are identified, developed, trained and selected for international play.
* = Coach Robinson is a member of each association.
The Ladder To The Olympics.
Our Program's History With USA Basketball.
2003 - Chante' Black
2005 - Coach Robinson
2007 - Coach Robinson
2007 - Katheryn Lyons
2009-2012 - Coach Robinson
2009 - Megan Buckland Blog From USA Basketball
Megan Buckland Blog From USA Basketball – Day 1
Day 1 – USA Basketball Trials: Anxious, Excited, Nervous. I’m sure there are other adjectives I could add to describe how I felt as I prepared for my 7 AM flight to Colorado Springs. I had so much nervous energy that I couldn’t sleep on my flight to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta, I went to Starbucks. Little did I know it was the last caffine fix that I would have for the duration of trials. The flight from Atlanta to Colorado was one of the longest flights ever. Would I ever get to the Olympic Training Center? Once in Colorado Springs, it didn’t take long for me to notice the altitude change. I was out of breath by the time I reached baggage claim. There were 2 representatives waiting for all the trial participants and it seemed like everyone was staring at us. All I could do was smile. I was trying out for the U16 National Team. I was here representing every hard-working, consistent yet non-flashy girl basketball player. I was representing Coach R., the Stealers and my high school. I prayed for success!!! As we gathered our bags, we were led to a bus with “USA Training Center” on the side. I couldn’t help but wonder what great Olympians may have ridden that same bus. The first thing we did upon arriving at the training center was to check in, get our meal card, room key, athlete badge and jersey. OMG!!!! Chills!!! It finally hit me that I was here also to represent my country. What an honor!! This was the biggest thing I have ever accomplished. We were given a to-do list prior to our first session. We had to take our bags to our room, receive our tour of the training center, have a medical screening, and have our individual photo taken. Next, we were off to the cafeteria for lunch. While there, Carol Callan, USA Basketball Chair / Director, let us know Michael Phelps was in line for his lunch. MICHAEL PHELPS!!! I bolted from my seat and was first in line to have my picture with him. It was fabulous!!! Later that day, we went for orientation. I was first in the room and sat right up front and then waited for everyone else to arrive. (I was always early for every session, meeting and optional shooting sessions. Something you learn playing for Coach R.) Mrs. Callan talked to us about expectations and how everyone in the room had the skills to be here. We watched a highlight film of the USA Women’s Basketball Olympic Teams. Chills again!! I had to pinch myself. Was I really here experiencing this?! We were then introduced to the coaching staff and all of the supporting staff, including the evaluators. Coach Barbara Nelson, the Head Coach of the U16 Team, then spoke to us about the opportunity before us and how excited she was for the opportunity she has. We then went for our first gym session. I had so much nervous energy. Our first drill was a lay-up drill. How many of those have we done before?! Well, not at this speed. This was a whole different speed than I have ever played. My first lay-up was right off the backboard. Not what I was wanting to happen! After that I settled down and began to play like I know I can. We ran through some drills and then began to scrimmage. We played with a 24 second shot clock, the same they use for international competition. Once the scrimmage was complete, I was pleased with how I had done. I thought I had proved that I should be here. There were some tremendous players here but I felt I had held my own. The competition was very intense. My dad, one of my biggest fans, was there with me and I got to see him for just a few minutes. Then it was off to dinner. Great food, but not as exciting as lunch… no Phelps sightings. Laundry had to be turned in by certain times or it was smelly jersey for the next day. We shared a room with one other participant. Once I got back to my room, I took a deep breath (which was still not an easy task due to the altitude). My first day of tryouts was over. It was time for bed as we have more sessions on Friday.
Megan Buckland Blog From USA Basketball – Day 2
Day 2 – On Friday morning when I got up, I was still anxious about tryouts. I still couldn’t believe I was actually in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center trying out for a USA team. Our first session of the day was to begin at 8:30am. After I was finished getting ready, I headed down to the cafeteria for breakfast. The food was all so healthy! It was definitely going to take some getting used to eat like this. When I finished eating breakfast I headed over to the gym for our first session. I got there around 8am and was the first one in the gym. I was so excited about our first full day of tryouts! Around 8:30am, we started stretching for the long day ahead of us. We started off with some shooting drills to get us loose and going. After those drills, we were split into teams to learn plays. We were taught a few offense plays and a few out of bounds plays. When we finished going the plays, we scrimmaged the rest of the session. The games were the quickest I had ever played. With a 24 second shot clock, it made the games even faster. Every one of the girls there were the best dribblers, shooters, passers, and scorers in the country. I knew I would have to play my absolute best to have a shot at making the team. After we got done scrimmaging, we had until 3pm to hang out and have a break. During the break, I went to lunch, took a much needed nap, and started some of my homework from the school days I missed. I also wrote down the plays we went through earlier so that when we would walk through them again, I would be ready. From 3-4pm, we had team offenses walkthrough. So at 2:15pm, I headed back over to the gym. Again, I was the first one there, so I got some extra shooting in while I waited for everyone else to arrive. During the offensive walkthrough, we went over the few plays we had learned earlier and added a couple more. When we finished the walkthrough, we had about 2 hours until we had to be back at the gym. During the short break my friend Malina (from Ohio) and I went to the cafeteria to grab a small bite to eat. When we finished eating, we walked around the campus of the Training Center to take pictures. At 5:45pm, our last session of the day started. We started with the stretching we did before each session. Then we split up as guards and posts to do some drills before scrimmaging again. We scrimmaged the rest of the night and by the time we were done, I was wore out. The extreme focus and intensity you had to bring for that number of hours was exhausting. But I loved every minute of it and knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else!! When we finished the scrimmages, we went to eat dinner (and trust me I ate more than I ever have) in the cafeteria and watch the Orlando vs. Cavaliers NBA playoff game. After I finished eating, I went back to the dorms, took a shower, and went to bed. It was another long day and I had another long one coming up tomorrow. I went to bed thanking God for such an amazing opportunity he had laid before me and asked that we would help me use it to the most potential.
Megan Buckland Blog From USA Basketball – Day 3
Day 3 Today was Saturday. That meant this was my last full day to really impress all the evaluators that were selecting the team. I woke up refreshed and re-energized. Our first session didn’t start until 9am, so I went to the cafeteria and got a nice, big breakfast. (The cafeteria was great, good fun and lots of it!) While I was eating, I realized Michael Phelps was sitting just on the other side of the cafeteria! This made me realize and remember once again what I was doing in Colorado and what my mission was while I was out there. At 8:30am, I got to the gym to do some extra shooting and stretching before another long day. All we would be doing today was scrimmages so that the evaluators could watch us play. So at 9:30am, we began to play. We did about 10 minutes of shooting drills to loosen up then we began playing. We were put on teams of about 6-8 girls so that there would be more teams and more games. Once again, the speed at which we played was so fast. The talent of all the girls was so impressive and was totally mind-boggling when I played with them and watched them when I wasn’t playing. At 11am, we were done with the first session of the day. Only two more left until we found out who would make the team! Out next session of the day didn’t begin until 5pm, so we had a nice, long break. During the break, my dad and I went to the gift shop to get some souvenirs. We got shirts and sweatshirts and then a few things for mom and Michael back at home. When we left the store, I went to lunch and dad went back to his hotel because I was not allowed to leave the campus. After lunch, I went back to my room to do some school work and take a nap. At about 4pm, I went back down to the cafeteria to grab a snack before going back to the gym. So after having some fruit and a grilled cheese sandwich (which I ate for every meal except breakfast!), I went to the gym. From 5pm-7pm we had our last session for the day. A bunch of the girls were beginning to get tired and began to complain about all the playing and scrimmaging we were doing. They wanted the easy route, but I knew we were not brought out to tryouts for the easy path. I knew that by staying strong mentally, it would help me in the long run. During this session, all we did was scrimmage again. At 7pm, when we were done for the day, I was worn out and sore. I was asked to do an interview and a quick video for ESPN Hoopgirls! I had fun with the video! After that I was ready for dinner then back to my room. I went to bed early and was anxious knowing that the next day was a really big day. I would find out if I made the team!!! I had everyone I knew praying although I knew my part was over with. It was up to the evaluators at this point!!
Megan Buckland Blog From USA Basketball – Day 4
Day 4 – This blog is one of the hardest things I have had to do. The emotions of this day are still so vivid and raw but I hope you can understand. As you can imagine, I woke up Sunday as anxious as ever. Today we were to find out if we made the team or if we would be heading back home. We only had one session for the day and it was to begin at 8:30 am. So I went to breakfast and over at the gym at 8:00 am ready to go. Most of the other girls had given up during the last couple of days at tryouts because they were easy lazy or had in their minds they weren’t going to make the team. In my mind, I tried to keep a positive attitude. I wanted to make the team! During the last session, I still went my hardest and gave it all I had in me. For the last session, we scrimmaged the entire teime. When we were done with the scrimmages, we stretched and were to head down to the room where we had had previous meetings during the tryouts. I was the first one down to the room and I couldn’t hardly breathe I was so nervous. As I’m writing this now, I am getting chills and loss of breath because of how memorable this moment was for me. Once we all got into the room, Carol, the team director, came p and talked to us before announcing the team. She reminded us to have composure, whether we made the team or not. Before she read off the list of those who make the team, she told us she would be reading the list alphabetically according to last name. I remember thinking “Great, at least I would find out quickly if I made the team”. Once Carol got past the “B’s”, I stopped listening. My head was spinning and I couldn’t think straight. I was at a complete loss of words and breath. After she read the list, we were dismissed from the room to go to our parents and back to our rooms to pack. Seeing my dad outside the room didn’t hep me at all. I just ran up to him and gave him the biggest hug ever. He knew by my actions and tears that I hadn’t made the team. I felt like I had let him and my family down. I felt like I had let all of my friends and everyone who had been praying for me down. I tried to congratulate the girls who had made the team, but all they got from me was a pat on the back. I was not able to speak because I was so upset. At this point, all I really wanted to do was get back to my room so I could pack and get out of there. I was completely jealous of all the other girls who had made the team… I still am today. When I got back to the room and was packing, I remember thinking how much I didn’t want to go home and see everyone, no matter how much I missed them. I wanted more than anything else in the world to stay out in Colorado until Thursday (which meant I had made the team!) Once I had my bags packed, my dad drove me to the airport to drop me off for my flight back home. I was still emotional but I had realized I had done the best I could during tryouts. I know what I need to work on now in order to even be able to have the opportunity to go back there again. I had decided to keep on some of my USA Apparel and wear it with pride. Sure I didn’t make the team, but I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I had the opportunity that kids dream of…wearing a jersey with USA on it. That jealousy I carry has sparked determination. I will work even harder to get invited back next year. I know that God put me out there for many reasons, and while I am still trying to figure out some of those reasons out, I know that he has a special purpose for my life with basketball and I can’t wait to see where he takes me next! Thanks to all of you who support me and the young ladies in the Stealers’ Program. Your prayers were felt daily and I am thankful to be part of such a wonderful organization!
Here are some links to the USA Basketball U16 Trials: Hoopgurlz.com Breaking Down The Participants. Full Court Press Player Recap From USA Basketball.
Picture Gallery From 2009 USA Basketball Trials…
Coach R's 🙂 USAB Blog From Colorado Springs
USA Basketball U16 Update!!!
2011 - Cameron Nieters Blog
Cameron Nieters Blog From USA Basketball / Russian Exchange Program!!!
Current Stealer Cameron Nieters is participating on the USA Basketball / Russian Exchange Program July 6-18. She, along with nine other players from the United States, are taking part in the program headed by Jody Patrick of the Potomac Valley AAU Association. Cameron’s email and Internet Access will be limited in Russia, but she will send updates as often as she can. July 5, 2011: Today I flew from PTIA to Washington, DC. The flight was supposed to be an hour but it turned out to be only 45 minutes. The hardest part was saying goodbye to my family who I wouldn’t see again for 15 days. Once we landed in DC, we went immediately to George Mason University where we had practice. Already we learned 3 plays. After practice, all twenty of the athletes (10 boys / 10 girls) plus the coaches were STARVING. We checked in at the Mason Inn, then walked across campus to eat dinner. We ate with the Saudi Arabian girls national team who were here in America for their version of our exchange program. They were fluent in English which makes me feel terrible that I know ZERO Russian! There is only one club team in Saudi Arabia for girls basketball. We met them all and talked to them about their experiences so far in America, and what we should expect for tomorrow. I am so nervous and excited at the same time! I can’t wait to be in Russia! July 6-7: This has been an interesting day to say the least. Yesterday we got to the airport about an hour and a half later than scheduled. When we left out of DC, they had overbooked the flight so four lucky people from our group were upgraded to first class. I got an emergency row seat, which was nice, except the closest person from my group was more than three rows behind me. The flight was LONG. I only got to sleep about an hour out of the ten, but I brushed up on my reality TV Shows and silly movies. We got to Russia about noon their time, so 4 a.m. yours, and I was exhausted. On the bus to our training facility I took the meaning of the phrase “Power Nap” to a whole ‘nother level. I slept more on the bus that I did on the plane. It took us about 2 hours to get through traffic in Moscow. Once we were at the hotel, we ate lunch. Definitely not what I’d been used to eating. It was a three course meal of salad, soup, and chicken. After lunch, we had the option of going to exchange money, going to the gym to shoot, or free time. I chose to run across the street to exchange money. The currency here is called Ruben, and it exchanges 26 Rubens to 1 U.S. Dollar. So for my $140.00 I look like a Russian heiress. We went to the grocery store to buy some water. One small bottle was 15 Rubens. Sure, it seems like a lot, but I was able to pay for it with the coins. When we came back, I went down to the gym and got some shots off. We all showered, and headed to dinner. Honestly, dinner was pretty nasty. I think I had a few cucumbers and some mashed potatoes, skipping everything else included in the 3 course meal. After dinner, a group of us played cards for a few hours in the lobby with one of the boy’s team coaches. One really weird thing here is that the sun didn’t set until after 10 P.M. I went to bed early because of my lack of sleep. It didn’t take my body long to get used to the new time zone. I slept for 9 and a half hours. When I woke up, I changed to go down to breakfast. At breakfast, I didn’t feel the greatest. They brought out some weird form of toast thing that smelled terrible. I sprinted upstairs to my room, sick. I got I sick about 6 times after that, so they made me stay at the hotel this morning instead of going to the Kremlin. TOTAL BUMMER! I finally took a nap about 10:30, and woke up at 1:00. I took a cold shower and now I feel perfect! The group should be back any time now, so at least I’ll be able to see pictures. Tonight, we have a dinner at the PAO’s house. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that! July 10-11: We had our first of three workouts for the day, and our first with the Russian Basketball Team. It was fun, and we spent most of the time explaining things to them which is hard because we don’t speak Russian and they don’t speak English. We are at the Trinita Camp just outside of Moscow. Our team’s schedule was changed last night so we went to Disco last night (more on that coming soon). We did a river city boat tour before practice, and on the same river, a boat sank on the same day. Not very encouraging! Anyway, we finally had an American Dish… HAMBURGERS!!! I ate my fill and then some. We have corn for breakfast.? We are practicing a lot and are getting set to play soon. On Thursday this week, we take a 4:00 A.M. Trip to St. Petersburg for the next stage of the trip. July 12-13: Monday we had a 5 on 5 tournament mixed in with the Russians. On my team, we had 3 Americans and 2 Russians. It was hard to communicate during the game, but we learned the Russian words for screen, switch, and ball. Yesterday, we had shooting competitions by team. It was a lot of fun. My team selected me to do the 3 point shooting, which was hard since the international line is 2.5 feet out from our 3 point line. We are supposed to figure out today who won. The guys finished up with a slam dunk competition, which was really fun to watch. Today is our last day at Trinta. We have a chalk drawing competition this morning, and then more team relays. We pack up, and leave Moscow at 4 am Thursday morning to take a train to St Petersburg. I have learned so much while I’ve been here, it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve made sure to get all the Russians we’ve played with’s names down so I can add them all on Facebook 🙂 I’ll send some pictures as soon as I can! Below is a picture of Cameron with USA Teammate Kelly Hayes from California. July 14-16: We woke up at 4am on Thursday to take a train to St Petersburg. The train went 200 km/hr, and it traveled through the rural areas of Russia. We got to St Petersburg at 10 am, and honestly the city looked exactly like Moscow! Originally, the plan was for us to all stay at the Olympic Training Center. But as we all know plans change, and it turns out they only had room for the guys to stay there. The first hotel we were going to stay at was possibly the worst one I’ve ever seen; it didn’t even have a shower! We moved hotels to one much better, and got a good nights sleep. They call St Petersburg the city of white nights.. Now I know why! The sun didn’t set until after 11:30, and it rose around 4 am. The next morning we went to tour Peterhouf, which is one of Peter the Great’s summer castles. To me, the prettiest part was the gardens and fountains outside. We didn’t spend much time there though because it was raining. We went back to the OTC and had a practice, this time with only the Americans, in preparation for the Saturdays events. After the workout we lifted, then had a nice core workout, followed by a nice dip in the pool. We had a night tour of the city from the bus. We saw tons of historic buildings, but since it was still raining all my pictures were pretty bad. This morning, we had a practice with the 15U Russian national team. They were pretty good, but spoke even less English than the girls back at Trinta. After practice we had another core workout, this time with the Russian girls. We ate lunch, then left for the train station to go back to Moscow. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been here for 11 days, and even harder to know I only have 2 left!
Coach R's 🙂 Blog From USA Basketball Trials - May 17-20, 2012
ABOVE (L-R): Coach R:) with two committee members Jody Patrick (VA) and Sue Phillips (CA); Director Carol Callan Gives the Participants an Educational Session On How USA Basketball Works Before Tryouts; Payers Stretching; The International Basketballs.
ABOVE (L-R): Teresa Edwards talks to the U17 and U18 Teams following trials; Teresa and Ruthie take a picture with the U17 Team; Teresa takes a picture with our committee members: Jody Patrick, me, Ruthie Bolton and Sue Phillips before dinner Friday Night; A View From Our Hotel; Katie Meier Working With The U18 Team (LSU Coach Nikki Caldwell is on the scooter as she has a torn achilles tendon).
ABOVE (L-R): Coach Meier and Coach Caldwell instruct the U18 Group; The U18 Selection Committee Watches Trials; Our U17 Selection Committee With USA Women’s Basketball Director Carol Callan Following Trials.
The Stealers & USA Women's Basketball Connection To 2012 Olympics
Robinson Selected To Be An Ass't Coach For 2013 U16 Natl Team
Coach R's 🙂 Daily Blog From USA Basketball May 21-26
USA Basketball Recap
It was great to listen to as everything she covered reaffirms a number of aspects our Stealers’ Program is built on. She talked about how the girls are to wear their uniforms (everyone looks the same, no arm sleeves, no leg sleeves, socks the same height and color), how they are to be team-first and that this particular team is part of a whole, and with the privilege to wear the USA jersey comes a large amount of responsibility. You’ll notice that in the picture to the left, the girls have on different shoes and socks. Carol said for them to remember that picture as that will be the last time as part of this team that this will be the case. Carol talked about playing internationally, what travel will be like wearing the USA Basketball logo at the airport or around our travels in Mexico next month. She went over being courteous to the folks we come in contact with, how to stand for the National Anthem, and how to be a positive example throughout the games. Team-first was a big point of emphasis as she said those worrying about starting or playing don’t “get” the big picture. This is about playing for our country not for yourself, and she and the selection committee took note during tryouts of who cared about starting and who cared about doing what’s best for their team. This was not the determining factor with everyone who did not make the team, but it did play a role with some of the ones that were cut. Another point of emphasis was that “We don’t do drama”. The committee kept an eye on that specifically, because they can’t have someone causing an issue wearing the USA Logo on the national stage. During practice, the girls had to stand on the baseline, something that we do, and after practice the girls had to stand around the circle, which is also something that our program does. I’ll post a link so you can watch all of our games live when competition begins in June. I’m save and sound at home, and yes, with all of my bags (Smile). You can read about the team and other information on www.usabasketball.com under U16 Women’s Basketball.
USAB Updates - U16 Natl Team June 8-24, 2013 - Part I
USAB In Cancun, Mexico - July 8-24, 2013 - Part II
Coach R's 🙂 Daily Blog From USAB May 21-26
USAB U17 Team Selected
Coach R's:) Blog From USAB June 12 - July 7, 2014
Coach R's:) Blog (PART II) From USAB - June 12 - July 7, 2014
USAB U17 World Championships (Part III); June 12 - July 7, 2014
Blog From USAB June 12 - July 7, 2014 (Part IV)
USA Basketball National Team Trials September 2014
Coach R:) visited the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Training Camp on Monday, September 8th held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The Women’s National Team originally had twenty-seven players scheduled to participate in camp but three: Tamkia Catchings, Candace Parker, and Monica Wright are not trying-out due to injuries. Seven others: DaWanna Bonner, Elena Delle Donne, Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Brittaney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Courtney Vandersloot are playing in the WNBA Playoffs. Click HERE for a press release on the training camp and the list of players that will be participating. Coach R:) took in the two hour practice, run by national team head coach Geno Auriemma. The overall intensity and attention to detail was great, and though the players are some of the best in the world, they had to be reminded to make their layups and to look their coaches in the eye when they were being instructed. The energy and support level for each player was good, but the fact that each player was competing for a spot made things tense. USA Basketball wants unselfish players who will the best together and to get a team of twelve from the twenty-plus players, all whom are very talented is going to be interesting to watch play out. I had the fortune to talk with a number of the players following the camp and took a couple of pictures with a few. I posted pictures from action during the camp and after. I’m looking forward to see how the team does in their first exhibition this week in Delaware. Another great USA Basketball experience. GO USteAlers!!!
USA Basketball East Regional Skills Camp: October 23-25, 2015.
USA Basketball held their East Regional Skills Camp in Winston-Salem at the Gateway YWCA. 120 (+) participants attended the camp, some as far away as Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. Coaches A.G. Hall (Winston-Salem State), Katie Pate (Lenoir-Rhyne), Abby Smith (Lynchburg), and Anne Crutchfield (Emory & Henry) along with Coach R:) and lead clinician Jill Rankin Schneider conducted the on-court sessions.