Crystal Dangerfield already has two gold medals as a member of USA Basketball championship teams at the FIBA U19 World Championship and 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Now, the UConn-bound point guard from Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) is after another. Dangerfield was among 12 players named to the Women’s U18 National Team that will compete at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship from July 13 to 17 in Valdivia, Chile.
“I came back hungry to win another gold medal,” Dangerfield said after the roster was named.
“This is a physical group. I think that’s going to help us, because international play is very physical. We’re very talented, and I’m ready to see how it goes.”
Given her experience and her role as the point guard, Dangerfield is expected to be among the team’s leaders.
“I feel like it’s just a presence-type thing,” she said. “I think the others are going to ask us questions and go off our lead. … It’s going to be a really special summer.”
Dangerfield, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All American, was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first team this season.
Another veteran on the roster is fellow ALL-USA first-teamer Lauren Cox from Flower Mound, Texas, who will be aiming for her fourth gold medal with USA Basketball. Cox, considered the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, is heading to Baylor.
“It’s always fun playing with her,” Cox said of Dangerfield. “She makes me a better player, so I’m excited.”
Here is the full roster:
- Jeannie Boehm (New Trier/Winnetka, Ill.);
- Rellah Boothe (IMG Academy/Ocala, Fla.);
- Chennedy Carter (Timberview/Mansfield, Texas);
- Sidney Cooks (Saint Joseph/Kenosha, Wis.);
- Lauren Cox (Flower Mound, Texas);
- Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman/Murfreesboro, Tenn.);
- Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian School/Noblesville, Ind.);
- Ruthy Hebard (West Valley/Fairbanks, Alaska);
- Valerie Higgins (Chaminade College Prep/Granada Hills, Calif.);
- Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner/San Antonio);
- Megan Walker (Monacan/Chesterfield, Va.);
- Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.)
Boothe, Harris and Walker all were named to the ALL-USA third team.
“I came here my freshman year, and I got cut and I kind of took that as a lesson to learn from,” said Harris, ranked No. 28 by ESPNw HoopGurlz and a South Carolina signee. “And then I came back this year and tried my hardest and tried to do the little things well, and now I finally made it. So hard work does pay off. It’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Boothe appeared to be among the most surprised that she was selected.
“I just came here to watch (the announcement), honestly,” she said. “I didn’t think they were going to call my name for this team. I’m really excited now.”