Highland News Leader

HHS grad Hempen to hit the hardwood for Team USA

Arizona State University women’s basketball rising senior Katie Hempen has been added to the USA Women’s World University Games Team, according to an announcement by USA Basketball on Saturday. Hempen was selected to replace Duke’s Rebecca Greenwell, who withdrew due to illness.

Hempen is the second Sun Devil to be named to a USA Basketball Team this summer. Last month it was announced that rising junior Sophie Brunner was one of 12 players selected to compete for the U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team.

“We are all so excited for Katie to be able to represent the USA in the World University Games,” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne. “While it was unexpected, I think it shows what a great impression Katie made when she attended the USA’s Team Trials last month. She is a difference maker and an incredible teammate and I know that she will bring a lot to the team.”

USA and Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown added, “I had an opportunity to watch Katie at Arizona State when we competed against her. I thought that she had a great year. She can really shoot the basketball. She brings a lot of energy. So, I think she’ll be a great fit to a team that we want to have play in transition, and she’s able to really stretch defenses.”

Hempen earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention recognition in 2014-15 for a season in which she started every game and led the team in scoring (12.0 ppg), 3-pointers (76 - third in Pac-12), was second in assists (2.4 apg), free throw percentage (77.8) and free throws made (84) and attempted (108). After only two seasons in a Sun Devil uniform Hempen, who last year set the school single-season record for 3-pointers (76), is on pace to become the program’s career leader in 3-pointers next season (currently has 120 and record is 162). Hempen scored in double figures 23 times last season, including a career-high 23 points in ASU’s win over Ohio in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last season she knocked down three or more 3-pointers 14 times, including a career-best six triples against Oregon State (Jan. 25). In addition, she connected on a school NCAA Tournament single-game record five triples in the aforementioned win over Ohio (Mar. 21). Hempen, who also dished out five or more assists four times, including a career-high eight at UCLA, will enter the 2015-16 seasons needing 17 more points to reach 1,000 at ASU.

The U.S. Women’s World University Games Team started practices last Saturday evening and will train in Colorado Springs through June 27, before departing for South Korea and the 2015 World University Games.

The U.S. will practice June 29-30 in Seoul before traveling to Guangju, site of the 2015 World University Games, on July 1.

The World University Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 5-13 and the USA opens Group C play against Italy on July 5, before playing China on July 6 and Czech Republic on July 7.

Playing in Group A will be Canada, Hungary, Mozambique and South Korea; Group B includes Japan, Mexico, Russia and Sweden; and Group D features Australia, Brazil, Taiwan and Uganda.

The quarterfinals will be played on July 9, the semifinals are on July 11, the bronze medal game is on July 12 and the gold medal game is set for July 13.

Players eligible for the 2015 USA World University Games teams must be U.S. citizens who currently are enrolled as full-time college students with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.

In addition to Hempen, the 2015 USA World University Games Team includes: Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.); Diamond DeShields (Tennessee/Norcross, Ga.); Chanise Jenkins (DePaul/Chicago, Ill.); Brionna Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.); Erica McCall (Stanford/Bakersfield, Calif.); Aerial Powers (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); Courtney Range (California/Manteca, Calif.); Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.); Sydney Wiese (Oregon State/Phoenix, Ariz.); and Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.).

The team will train in Colorado Springs through June 27, before departing for South Korea and the 2015 World University Games. Following a 6 p.m. (all times MDT) practice tonight, the squad will train twice a day, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. June 21-23 and June 25-26. There will be just one practice, at 10 a.m., on June 24.

The U.S. will practice June 29-30 in Seoul before traveling to Guangju, site of the 2015 World University Games, on July 1.

The World University Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 5-13 and the USA opens Group C play against Italy on July 5, before playing China on July 6 and Czech Republic on July 7.

Playing in Group A will be Canada, Hungary, Mozambique and South Korea; Group B includes Japan, Mexico, Russia and Sweden; and Group D features Australia, Brazil, Taiwan and Uganda.

The quarterfinals will be played on July 9, the semifinals are on July 11, the bronze medal game is on July 12 and the gold medal game is set for July 13.

McKeown will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.

Players eligible for the 2015 USA World University Games teams must be U.S. citizens who currently are enrolled as full-time college students with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.

Held every other year, the World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The WUGs are a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between 1/1/88 and 12/31/98), who are enrolled as a full-time college student with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.

USA Basketball women’s teams have participated in 17 World University Games and collected a record nine golds, six silvers and one bronze medal. Since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the World University Games, USA women’s teams have compiled a 101-15 all-time record. The USA has won gold medals in the past five WUGs in which it has competed (2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013).

In 2013, led by tournament co-MVP Odyssey Sims, who went on to earn gold as a member of the 2014 USA World Championship Team, the USA won by an average of 34.8 points per game and finished 6-0 to claim the gold medal.

Notable among the list of USA WUG alumni are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore. Additionally, Olympians Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Anne Donovan, Pat Head (Summitt), Lisa Leslie, Katrina McClain, Suzie McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson, Kara Wolters and Lynette Woodward played for the USA in the World University Games.

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