Navy's women's basketball team won 24 games last season and earned a berth in the Women's National Invitational Tournament.
The Mids won't officially begin preparing for the 2014-15 season until October, but coach Stefanie Pemper thinks her team will benefit next week when the USA Women's Basketball Team begins training at the academy in defense of the USA's FIBA World Championship title.
Twenty-seven players -- including such standouts as Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker -- will gather in Annapolis on Monday through Wednesday under the direction of Geno Auriemma, the 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach.
Team USA will begin training at 10 a.m. on Monday and at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at Halsey Field House.
Later in the day on Tuesday, the USA National Team will split up to conduct two USA Basketball Youth Development Clinics at 5 p.m., both of which will offer instruction on skills and fundamentals to local youths. Half of the USA Women's National Team, along with half of Navy's women's team, will participate in a clinic at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County with approximately 75-100 children, while each team's remaining players and coaches will take part in a clinic at Halsey for approximately 30 children of U.S. Navy personnel in partnership with the Moral, Welfare and Recreation Department.
"We are just elated USA Women's Basketball will be in Annapolis,'' Pemper said. "It's incredible not just for the community, obviously, but for our players. They're going to be able during their free periods or during their lunch break to sneak over and watch how these women work -- their attention to detail, professionalism, camaraderie and the way they communicate.
"It's such an impressive organization,'' said Pemper, who worked with the U.S. U18 national team in the spring. "This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to have a front-row seat for something so special.''
On Tuesday, that front-row seat will belong to Team USA, as it is scheduled to watch the academy's Midshipmen gather into their noon meal formation outside of Bancroft Hall and proceed in formation to King Hall. The U.S. squad will then spend time visiting while eating lunch with the Midshipmen at King Hall as part of USA Basketball's Hoops for Troops program.
The USA National Team training camp roster includes three-time (2004, 2008, 2012) Olympic gold medalists Bird, Catchings and Diana Taurasi; two-time Olympic gold medalists (2008, 2012) Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Parker; as well as 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles, Jantel Moore, Angel McCoughtry and Lindsay Whalen.
Finalists for the 2014 USA World Championship Team will compete in the 2014 France International Tournament in the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, Sept. 19-21. Opening against Australia on Sept. 19, the U.S. will face China on Sept. 20 and close the round-robin tournament against host France on Sept. 21.
From there, the Americans will head to Prague, Czech Republic, for an exhibition against Czech Republic on Sept. 23, before traveling to Istanbul for their final pre-World Championship preparations.
The USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Championship play, while compiling an all-time 97-21 record at the event. In 2010, the most recent World Championship, the U.S. finished with a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal.
USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
FIBA World Basketball training, Monday through Wednesday at Halsey Field House, Naval Academy
OF NOTE: The team, along with the Navy women's basketball team, will conduct two USA Basketball Youth Developpment Clinics on Tuesday, 5 p.m. One for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis, the other for children of U.S. Navy personnel.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun