COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Perhaps Jordan Horston was destined to be a point guard, the quarterback of a basketball team's offense.
Hortson's great uncle is the late Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joe Gilliam, who was the first African-American quarterback to start a season opener (1974) after the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
"I know he had a lot of adversity through his career so he's an inspiration," Horston said.
Horston, though, already has a lot of inspiration and motivation as USA Basketball's U-17 national team trials began Thursday at the United States Olympic Training Center.
The 6-foot junior from Columbus, Ohio, made her first USA team a year ago and knows she has her work cut out for her with the strong guard contingent here if she's to be on the 12-player squad that will take part in the FIBA U-17 World Cup this July in Minsk, Belarus.
"I want to stay comfortable, keep working hard, and just stay humble," Horston said. "There are no guarantees. This is something that can be taken away. I'm going to come out every day and play like it's my last and leave it all out there on the floor."
Horston averaged 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists with an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2-to-1 as Team USA won the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA Americas U-16 Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Her trip here for the U-16 trials was her first time on a plane and the journey to Argentina was her first time out of the country.
"Playing USA Basketball taught me a lot," Horston said. "There are girls here as good and better than me and it's a humbling experience. You learn that you have to work for the things that you want.
"I feel like my leadership skills have gotten a little better in the last year and I feel more comfortable talking. I grew (taller) a little. My jump shot is better. I think my game is evolving."
She showed what she learned over the summer during her junior season at Columbus Africentric High, averaging 18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals in leading her team to a 27-3 record and the Ohio Division III state championship.
In the state final against Versailles, Horston's rebound basket with about four minutes left put Africentric in front to stay. On the ensuing possession, her steal led to a layup by Alexia Smith. She finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 53-47 win.
It was the program's sixth state title and the second in three seasons for Horston. Her sophomore year ended with a semifinal loss to Gates Mills Gilmour Academy.
"We all had a chip on our shoulders this season," Horston said. "We hated losing and we didn't want that feeling again. We got into the gym and we worked hard. Our bond and chemistry got a lot stronger this season. We trusted each other more."
The U-17 trials run through Sunday with the finalists being announced Monday, followed by two more days of practice.
It figures to be a hectic time for Horston, who is ranked the No. 8 player in the Class of 2019 by ESPN HoopGurlz. She is set to take an official recruiting visit to the University of Connecticut the weekend of June 1.
"Connecticut is legendary," Horston said. "Coach (Geno) Auriemma is a great coach and he produces great players. I just love what they're about."
Horston has already made official visits to North Carolina -- where her mother's cousin, Sylvia Crawley, is an assistant coach -- and UCLA, and is also considering hometown Ohio State, Louisville, South Carolina and Tennessee.
"I have to do what's best for me, at the end of the day," Horston said. "I want a school that will make me a better player and person, I want to win, and I want to get a good education."
She hopes to announce a decision, and add another championship to her collection, this summer.