Myah made it to the last day of the trials. She missed the Top 40 cut. Memphis and I'm sure Olive Branch is extremely proud of you. Keep your head up, Myah!
Article/Image from USA Basketball website
|Olive Branch's Myah Taylor|
Commonly in sports, there is a team that considers itself the
underdog, a group that brings excitement to the competition by helping
to provide unpredictable outcomes.
The 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials are no
exception, with 125 applicant athletes joining 34 players who were
invited by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team
“I feel as though I am an underdog,” said 6-foot-1 forward Alexis Gordon
Bell H.S./Hurst, Texas). “The people that were invited here are really
good, but I can play with them. I have to consistently show that.”
That is exactly the purpose of the open trials USA Basketball has
conducted for U16 and U17 teams since 2011, to allow lesser-known
players the chance to shine.
From 149 athletes to start trials on May 21 at the United States
Olympic Training Center, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the roster as of
Sunday morning stands at 70 players who are competing for a roster spot
on the 12-member USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team. Thirty-six
of the remaining 70 athletes came to the trials because they wanted
compete among the some of the nation’s best, including Gordon, Myah Taylor
(Olive Branch H.S./Olive Branch, Miss.), Brooke Moore
(Henry County H.S./McDonough, Ga.) and Janelle Bailey
(Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.).
“At first, since I was not invited, I felt as though I shouldn’t
have come,” commented Gordon. “I felt that I was not good enough. After
talking to my family and coaches, who said that I have what it takes, I
believe that I have what it takes. I am putting everything on the floor.
“This morning I didn’t feel as though I played to the best ability,
so when I saw it that I had made the cuts, I saw that I had another
chance. I was going to take the opportunity to come back and show them
why I belong here.”
Moore, unlike Gordon, did not personally go and check the list of
players who were advancing, which was posted on the doors of Sports
Center II. Instead, she asked someone else to look for her. Still, her
reaction was the same.
“I didn’t even look at it,” said Moore, a 5-foot-5 guard. “I got my
coach to look at it. After she looked at it, I asked her what it said.
She asked me for my number, and then responded that I didn’t make the
cut with a smile on her face. Then I knew she was joking. I had made it.
I thought to myself I really have to work to make the next cuts.”
From here, the trials participants will see one more roster reduction on Sunday before the team is named on Monday morning.
“I want to show that I can run the floor and that I am a really good
shooter,” Moore stated. “I have to get in rhythm. My rhythm comes from
the team rhythm. If the team is in a rhythm, my shot will be, too.”
With everyone’s attention focused on the courts for scrimmages, other players echoed Moore’s sentiment.
Bailey said she is focused on displaying her versatility to the selection committee.
“I want to show more of me stepping out to shot the basketball,
something I worked on before I got here,” commented the 6-foot-3 Bailey.
“I don’t want to just stay in the block, but it comes with the offense.
Everyone wants to score, but sometimes scoring does not work for you.
Yesterday scoring did not work for me, unless I got it off the rebound.
Yesterday was all about rebounds. Once I knew I was not able to score, I
moved on the next thing. I would like to see myself shoot, but I will
do whatever my team needs me to do.”
Though she has her mind set on showing her skills, Bailey said she
also is enjoying the process, despite the fact that she may not make the
“I have enjoyed the journey so far. You do not worry about whether
or not you are going to make it; you just enjoy the journey. It is a
once in a lifetime opportunity. You can do it again, but these years
don’t come back. You have to enjoy it while it lasts. Every day I enjoy
the game, for that reason. “
For Taylor, as the numbers of players continues to be reduced, she is realizing this could be a dream come true for her.
“I have considered it,” Taylor said of making the team. “I have
dreamed of it, but they are only taking 12. I have to go out there with
my best to make that dream come true. Being from Mississippi, where it
isn’t a basketball state, it is a dream come true. It is a great
opportunity, even if I don’t make the team. I can say that I attended
USA trials as not a lot of girls do.”