From LSU Sports
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After going through a three-day tryout against the nation's best collegiate players, LSU forward Theresa Plaisance was one of 12 players selected to lead the USA Basketball Team at the World University Games in Russia, USA Basketball announced Sunday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Plaisance was one of two Southeastern Conference players to make the cut, joining Tennessee's Ariel Massengale. LSU guard Danielle Ballard just missed the team, but she was one of the few freshmen who were selected to tryout. The 12-member team was selected and approved by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.
"Being able to play for your country is such a great opportunity and doing it with such high competition is even better," said Plaisance. "We had a lot of great girls coming out to try out for this team, and I'm one of the lucky 12 that made it. I feel really blessed and fortunate to be a part of it."
This will be the second time that Plaisance will wear a USA jersey in international competition. The summer prior to her arrival at LSU in 2010 she helped the Americans claim a gold medal at the FIBA Americas 18 Championship. She is the fifth LSU player to make the USA World University Games squad in program history and the first since both Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus were part of the 2005 gold medal team.
"I think it is a little bit more exciting this year just because the competition was so much higher," said Plaisance. "These are the best players in women's college basketball and to be fortunate enough to be on a team with them is just unbelievable. That's really the word I should use right now. This is such an elite group of people that I'm blessed enough to be a part of that."
Plaisance returns to LSU and will re-join the USA team on June 25 for a week of training in Colorado Springs. The 2013 World University Games get underway on July 8 in Kazan, Russia, when the Americans take on Belarus in preliminary round play. Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and held every other year, the WUGs is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24.
Plaisance, who will make her first trip overseas, is coming off a junior season at LSU where she led the SEC in scoring with 17.0 points per game. A first-team All-SEC selection and honorable mention All-America, she guided the Lady Tigers to a 22-12 record and the program's first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. She enters her senior season of 2013-14 as a National Player of the Year candidate for an LSU team that was ranked No. 16 in an early preseason poll by ESPN.com.
"This will be first trip to Europe," added the New Orleans native. "I have to get ready for training camp. I've got to get ready, and you just have to prepare yourself. You can't let this opportunity go to waste, so I'm going to do everything to get my body right and ready for this."