Sophomore Crystal Dangerfield and incoming freshmen Mikayla Coombs and Megan Walker will get to visit Italy with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team during its tour in August.
They'd also like to make the trip in July for the FIBA U-19 world championships with the United States national team.
Dangerfield, Coombs, and Walker are among 33 players who have accepted invitations to take part in the U-19 trials that will be held May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Also headed to the trials are UConn Class of 2018 commit Charli Collier and 2018 recruiting target Christyn Williams.
Team USA will go for its seventh straight U-19 gold medal at the tournament to be held July 22-30 in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy. The Americans will be led by University of Pittsburgh coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.
"These athletes represent the top talent our country has to offer at this age level," said Jennifer Rizzotti, the chairperson of the women's junior national team selection committee. "This is a very versatile group that will give the coaching staff a lot of options. They are all tough competitors, and it is not going to be easy for us to pare it down to the final 12-member team. The committee feels we will be able to select from this group a team that will represent the USA well on and off the court."
Included on the 33-player trials roster are nine members of the 2016 U-18 team that qualified Team USA for U-19 world championships by winning gold at the FIBA Americas Championship and four players, including Collier and Williams, who were members of the 2016 U-17 team that won a bronze medal at the FIBA world championships in Spain.
Dangerfield is hoping to become the fifth player in USA Basketball history to win two U-19 gold medals. The others are former UConn All-Americans Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck, South Carolina All-American A'ja Wilson, and former Baylor guard Alexis Jones.
The 5-foot-6 point guard from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was named to the U-18 team a year ago but was forced to withdraw with a hip injury that required surgery. She averaged 6.4 points and 2.7 assists in the 2015 U-19 world championship in picking up her second gold medal to go with the one she got with the 2013 U-16 team.
In her first year at UConn, she averaged 6.1 points and 3.7 assists and was named to the American Athletic Conference all-freshman team as the Huskies swept the league title and advanced to their 10th consecutive NCAA Final Four. She was ninth in the AAC in assists and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Coombs, a 5-foot-8 guard from Buford, Georgia, attended the U-17 trials at USOTC a year ago. She led Wesleyan School to the Georgia Class 1A Private School state title as a senior by averaging 16.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.1 steals per game. She took part in the McDonald's All-America Game and the Jordan Brand Classic and was her state's Gatorade Player of the Year.
Walker, a 6-foot-1 wing from Chesterfield, Virginia, swept almost all national Player of the Year honors including the Gatorade Player of the Year, the WBCA Player of the Year, and the Naismith Trophy. She also took part in the McDonald's All-America Game and the Jordan Brand Classic as she averaged 25.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals in leading Monacan High to a perfect season. In the Class 4A state tournament title game against Kings Fork, Walker capped a 35-point, 11-rebound performance by hitting a jumper with 15 seconds left to give Monacan a 60-59 win.
She averaged 9.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20.6 minutes with the U-18 team a year ago. Walker also owns a silver medal from the 2016 FIBA 3x3 U-18 World Cup.
Collier, a 6-foot-4 forward from Baytown, Texas, committed to UConn last fall. She led Barbers Hill High to a 33-5 record and the Class 5A state tournament semifinals as a junior by averaging 23.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.0 blocked shots per game. She was a consensus All-State selection. With the U-17 team a year ago, she averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 7.7 minutes off the bench.
Williams, a 5-foot-11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, averaged 26.0 points and 8.8 rebounds as a junior at Central Arkansas Christian School and was named her state's Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season. With the U-17 team a year ago, she averaged 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per game. She is considering UConn, Baylor, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and UCLA, and said in January while attending the Huskies' game at SMU she would take her official visits in the fall.
Last week, USA Basketball announced that 35 players had accepted invitations to take part in the U-16 national team trials May 25-29 in Colorado Springs.
Leadng the way are UConn Class of 2019 recruiting targets Samantha Brunelle, a 6-foot-2 forward from Ruckersville, Virginia, and Aliyah Boston, a 6-foot-4 center from Worcester, Massachusetts. Brunelle was the youngest player on the 2016 U-17 national team and averaged 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 4.9 minutes per game. Boston, from Worcester Academy, was among the final five cuts for the U-17 team.
Also among the invitees are Class of 2020 guard Myra Gordon, whose older sister, Lexi, is an incoming freshman at UConn, and three players who made unofficial visits to Storrs during the past season -- River Baldwin, Maddie Burke, and Kylee Watson.
The trials also will feature as many as 115 applicant athletes.
"This is the first time we will have a player return to a U-16 trials after having won a U-17 medal and the first time we will have a U-17 finalist returning to U-16 trials," said USA Basketball women's national team director Carol Callan, who is also chairperson of the USA Basketball women's developmental national team committee. "Taking all of that into account, we look forward to seeing the level of competition at trials continue to become stronger as it has done in each of the five events in which we have had applicant athletes alongside invited athletes."
Team USA will compete in the 2017 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship from June 7-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will be coached by former UConn standout and current Tufts University coach Carla Berube.