REPRESENTING HER COUNTRY: Baldwin 1-of-18 finalist for U17 Team USA

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Before she plays her final high school season winter, Pleasant Home’s River Baldwin is 1-of-18 finalist competing for 12 roster spots for 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Cup Team at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

This is the second year that Baldwin has been invited to the tryouts and the second year that she has been named a finalist.

Baldwin was one of nearly 200 high school juniors and seniors selected from around the country to participate in the Olympic trials.

With most people around gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend, Baldwin and 158 hopefuls took to the court for a chance to represent their country

The trials got started on Thursday with orientation and the first of three skill sets.

During orientation, the players are shown video messages from members of the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team.

The first round of cuts came early Saturday morning, with more than 50 hopefuls sent packing after the first day of trials.

Saturday evening saw 30 more players sent home and then number of hopefuls went from 102 to just 70.

The list of cuts grew on Sunday as the number of athletes was cut down to 45.

Baldwin was still one of the girls left fighting for spot on the team.

On Memorial Day, the list shrunk once again down to the final 18 players.

The final 18 players will remain in Colorado Springs this week where they will begin team practices.

There will be a total of six team practices between Monday and Wednesday.

On Wednesday or Thursday, 12 players will be selected to be the official members of the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Team.

The remaining six players will be considered alternates.

Once the team is selected, the players will remain in Colorado Springs for practice until July 8.

On July 10, the team will travel to Washington D.C. for a couple of practices and a scrimmage.

The team will begin competition on July 14 in Liepaja, Latvia.

Canada, China and Lativa will also be in the Latvia Tournament.

The World Cup preliminary round will begin in July 18 in Minsk Belarus.

Team USA will scrimmage Australia on July 18 and then scrimmage France on July 19.

Team USA opens up World Cup play against Italy on July 21 at 8:15 a.m.