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Wolfenbarger gets spot on World Cup USA under-19 team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of 12 players headed to Debrecen, Hungary for the FIBA U19 World Cup, USA Basketball announced Monday.

Wolfenbarger, along with Amari DeBerry and Lauren Ware, were the final three athletes to earn their spots on the team, which will open training camp on Wednesday, July 21, at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

The team will be coached by Cori Close, Aaron Johnston and Joni Taylor. The selection committee, led by Jennifer Rizzotti, Tonya Cardoza, Kara Lawson and Wes Moore, put together the 12-member team.

“Let’s put this into perspective,” Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said. “Over half of NCAA freshmen were eligible for selection. 90 percent of incoming freshman from all 50 states were eligible for selection.

“After a comprehensive tryout process, Jersey earned one of only 12 spots on the team that will represent the United States in the U19 World Cup. Let that sink in. We are all so proud of Jersey. It’s going to be fun following her and the team as they go for gold.”

The accolades continue to roll in for Wolfenbarger, who will debut for the Hogs this fall.

Wolfenbarger was also named Arkansas’ first McDonald’s All-American signee since 2016, while garnering Arkansas player of the year honors from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Max Preps and the Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association.

Wolfenbarger, the No. 7 overall player and top-ranked wing in ESPN’s HoopGurlz 2021 recruiting rankings, is one of six players set to start their freshman seasons this fall.

The awards are not hollow, though, as Wolfenbarger impacted winning during her illustrious high school career.

She is coming off her second state title with Northside High School, as she led the Grizzlies to a 26-2 record and a Class 6A State Championship in 2020-21. She averaged 19.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 blocks per game during her final high school campaign.

Featuring U19 teams from 16 nations, the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup is scheduled to be held Aug. 7-19 in Debrecen, Hungary.

In addition to the USA and host Hungary, teams that will take part in this summer’s U19 World Cup include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Mali, Russia, South Korea and Spain.

FIBA held the draw to determine preliminary round groups for the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup on April 28, and the USA was drawn into Group A, alongside Australia, Egypt and Italy for the Aug. 7-10 preliminary round.

The USA will open play against Italy on Aug. 7, followed by Australia on Aug. 8 and cap preliminary play against Egypt on Aug. 10. Times will be announced by FIBA at a later date.

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.

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