May 8, 2002
(May 8) - University of Arizona women's basketball player Dee-Dee Wheeler has been invited to try outs for the 2002 USA World Championship for Young Women Qualifying Team. The trials will be held May 17-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the finalists for the squad will be announced on Monday, May 20.
A 5-6 point guard, Wheeler was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, becoming the first UA player to earn this award since Adia Barnes in 1995 and only the second Wildcat ever to earn the award. She was also chosen the UA's Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
Wheeler led Arizona in steals (57) and assists per game (3.5) and was the squad's second-leading scorer (12.3 ppg). She reached double digits in scoring in 19 games this season, marking the highest number of double-digit performances for a Wildcat freshman in three years. Among Pac-10 players, Wheeler ranked fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.404), sixth in steals (2.04 spg), eighth in assists (3.32 apg) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.94). She finished 13th in the conference in scoring (12.2 ppg), to lead all Pac-10 freshmen.
The eventual 12-member U.S. team, which will be comprised of U.S. citizens 20 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1982), will compete in the Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) World Championship for Young Women Qualifying Tournament. Hosted by Brazil in Ribeirao Preto July 17-21 and featuring eight teams from North, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean, the top three nations will qualify for the inaugural International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Championship for Young Women which is scheduled to be played in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in July 2003 (dates TBD).
For more information on the 2002 USA 20-and-Under National Team Trials, go to the official site of USA Basketball at http://www.usabasketball.com.