Patberg receives alternate U19 spot

USA Basketball announced Sunday that Columbus North senior Ali Patberg, Indiana’s Miss Basketball, has been chosen to be an alternate on the USA U19 team.

If any member of the squad is injured, then Patberg would accompany the squad to the FIBA U19 World Championship from July 18 to 26 in Chekhov, Russia.

A’ja Wilson, who plays for the University of South Carolina, currently has a groin injury and did not participate in the tryout even though she was added to the roster. Wilson was the MVP of the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship while playing for the U.S. team.

Patberg said the USA Basketball Under 19 selection committee informed her that a decision about Wilson’s participation likely is to be made in the next week or two. Patberg has planned on attending summer school at Notre Dame, where she will play next season, but would not go to South Bend this summer if added to the national team.

The USA squad will be attempting to win a sixth consecutive gold medal at the world championships.

The USA Basketball release noted “the team was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee following three days of trials (Thursday through Saturday) that featured 34 athletes born on or after Jan. 1, 1996, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.”

Team members will return to the training center June 30 to July 7 and will then participate in a round-robin tournament in Alicante, Spain, from July 11 to 13 against teams from Australia, Canada and Spain before heading to Russia for the World Championship.

No Indiana player was named to the 12-player squad. The team will be coached by South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

Patberg led Columbus North to its first girls basketball state championship this past season. She participated in the U18 USA Basketball trials last year but did not make the squad.

“To me, I was going out to Colorado Springs with the goal of making the team,” Patberg said. “My feeling is that I played the best I could have played. I believe I showed that I was one of the best point guards in the country.

“So it hurts (to be an alternate).”