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UF Women’s Basketball: Merritt Invited to U19 USA National Team Trials

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY SAM STOLTE

Forward Jordyn Merritt to participate in upcoming Team USA trials in Denver, Colo.

University of Florida women’s basketball forward Jordyn Merritt has accepted an invitation to the USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team Trials in Denver, Colo., May 11-17, as the organization announced its selections Wednesday afternoon.

Merritt, a rising sophomore, will have the opportunity to make the 12-member U19 National Team roster, which will compete in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup, August 7-15 in Debrecen, Hungary.

The SEC All-Freshman team pick is fresh off a strong debut campaign with the Gators in which she averaged 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds. The Texas native really came on strong to finish the season, starting the final 10 games and posting 17 points and 18 rebounds in Florida’s win over Charlotte in the WNIT. Accepting her invitation to the U19 trials, Merritt makes her second appearance with USA Basketball as she also competed with the U16 team in 2017.

Over the years, the Gators have had a rich history competing with USA Basketball. Delisha Milton-Jones (2000, 2008 Gold) and Tammy Jackson (1992, Bronze) have garnered Olympic medals, and a total of 27 Florida players have competed with various USA Basketball teams.

Eligible athletes for this competition must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, and UCLA’s Cori Close is the team’s head coach. 

The 6-foot-3 forward, one of three 5-star signees on UF’s 2021-22 roster, ranked top 10 among conference rookies in scoring, rebounding, and minutes played and was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 23.

In addition to the USA and host Hungary, teams that will take part in this summer’s U19 World Cup include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Mali, Russia, South Korea, and Spain.

The trials, which feature individual skills, position work, drills, and scrimmages, are set to take place at Metropolitan State University in Denver. The Junior National Team Committee will announce the team selections at a later date.

Reigning FIBA U19 World Cup gold medalist, USA women’s teams have won eight gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal while compiling an 86-13 overall record in U19 World Cup play since the event was launched in 1985. Even more impressive, the USA has posted a 62-3 record and won seven of the past eight U19 golds since 2005.

Included on the U19 trials roster are 16 athletes who were college freshmen in 2020-21, nine current high school seniors who will matriculate to college in the fall, and another two who are high school juniors from the Class of 2022.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, no media or guests will be allowed to view trials sessions.

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