Ballard, Plaisance Invited to USA Basketball Trials
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After leading the LSU women’s basketball team to a Sweet 16 appearance, Lady Tiger forward Theresa Plaisance and guard Danielle Ballard will attempt to play on the international stage as the two have been invited to participate in the 2013 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team trials, USA Basketball announced on Wednesday.
Thirty-one of the nation’s top women’s basketball players will convene at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 16-19. The USA Junior National Team Committee and coaching staff will then select a 12-member squad on May 19, who will represent the USA at the World University Games, July 8-15, in Kazan, Russia.
“It’s an honor for Theresa and Danielle to be chosen to represent our country,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “What they meant to LSU this past season, it gives you a birds-eye view of the direction of our program and the caliber of players we have. With us finishing in the top 16, LSU women’s basketball is gaining momentum and respect from not only the NCAA but USA Basketball as well.”
LSU is one of only six schools nationally to send multiple players to the trials, joining Tennessee, Connecticut, Louisville, California and Duke.
Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and held every other year, the WUGs is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24. USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and have collected a record eight gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal.
Former Lady Tigers Joyce Walker (1983), Cornelia Gayden (1995), Seimone Augustus (2005) and Sylvia Fowles (2005) were all alumni of the World University Games.
Plaisance, a New Orleans native, is seeking to make the second USA team of her career. The first-team All-Southeastern Conference forward was a member of the 2010 USA U18 National Team that claimed the gold medal at the FIBA Americas 18 Championship.
Plaisance led the SEC in scoring in her first year as starter, becoming LSU’s first scoring champion since Augustus. Plaisance averaged 17.0 points per game and she was fourth in the SEC in rebounding (8.3 rpg), sixth in field goal percentage (43.7) and second in blocks (2.5 bpg).
Ballard, a native of Memphis, Tenn., shattered the LSU single-season record for steals with 100 in her first year. She was a freshman All-America selection, an SEC All-Freshman member and an SEC All-Defensive team honoree. Ballard put up 12.1 points, 6.5 rebounds per game and she led the SEC in steals.