Lady Tigers' Hightower Invited to USA Trials
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- LSU All-Southeastern Conference guard Allison Hightower is one of 29 student-athletes from across the country who have been invited to participate in the USA Basketball World University Games Team Trials, the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee announced Wednesday.
Trials to select finalists for the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The selected finalists will return to Colorado Springs on June 18 for training camp, and the team is expected to depart for Serbia on June 25. The 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure.
The World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The 2009 women’s basketball competition will take place July 1-11 in Belgrade, Serbia. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
“This will be my fourth time involved in USA Basketball,” Hightower said. “Being on this team would be something special. I am going to go there and play as hard as I can. It is a great honor to play and compete with the best players in America. Being on that level of competition is something that I really look forward to.”
“We are very proud of Allison as a staff,” said LSU head coach Van Chancellor, who lead Team USA to Olympic gold in 2004. “With the type of year she had, USA Basketball seeks players with the complete package – defense, offense, rebounding and passing. She brings all of those attributes to the table and will represent LSU well.”
Hightower is coming off a terrific junior season that culminated with LSU’s 11th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and an honorable mention on the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association State Farm All-America Team.
The Arlington, Texas, native averaged 14.9 points and became the first player in school history to lead the Lady Tigers in points, assists, steals and blocks in a single season. Hightower ranked in the SEC’s top 10 in five categories and led all league guards in blocked shots per game with 1.2.
Hightower is one of three SEC players of the 29 invited, which also includes Mississippi State’s Alexis Rack and Georgia’s Ashley Houts.
A total of five former Lady Tigers have made World University Games rosters in the event’s history, none more notable than All-Americans Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus. Prior to leading Team USA to Olympic gold in 2008, the two were members of the World University Games squad that captured gold in 2005.