Mitchell, Harper Heading To Colorado

By Jeff Rapp, July 12th, 2017

Kevin McGuff will lean heavily on a pair of seniors when the Ohio State women’s basketball team begins to pursue its collective dream of playing in the Final Four in Columbus next March.

But before guards Kelsey Mitchell and Linnae Harper start leading their Buckeye teammates they will get to work out with some of the top amateur players in the world. Each accepted invitations to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp. The camp will run July 31 to Aug. 4 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A total of 40 collegiate athletes will take part in the camp and the 12-member team that will represent the USA in an inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament for college-aged women this summer in Tokyo is expected to be announced on Aug. 4.

Players selected to the team will continue training at the USOTC through Aug. 7 before departing for Tokyo. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 23 years old or younger and currently are freshmen, sophomores or juniors in college.

Harper is a Team USA veteran, as she won gold medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. She also collected gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, bronze at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Championship, silver at the 2015 Pan American Games and an honorary bronze at the 2011 FIBA 3×3 Youth World Championship. Last year in her first with the Buckeyes, she was named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year.

Mitchell is looking to become the first women’s basketball player in Ohio State history to earn All-America honors four times. She is the program’s third all-time leading scorer and is the Big Ten leader in career three-pointers made. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has scored over 2,500 points in her career and currently holds 14 school records.

Leading the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team will be Jeff Walz of Louisville as head coach, with Courtney Banghart of Princeton and Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky as assistant coaches.

Additionally, Geno Auriemma, 2009-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach and head coach at Connecticut, will serve as the lead clinician during training camp, guiding all of the sessions except the team practices and games.

The 2017 U23 Four Nations Tournament, which will include the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan, will be a round-robin tournament played Aug. 12-15 in Tokyo.