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St John’s WBB Aliyyah Handford to Participate in USA Team Trials

Aliyyah Handford. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Aliyyah Handford. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Following a junior season that saw her lead the BIG EAST in scoring and earn unanimous first team all-conference honors, Aliyyah Handford has been selected to participate in the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s  Pan American Games and World University Games Team Trials, it was announced on Wednesday by USA Basketball.

Handford is one of 54 women’s basketball standouts that has been invited to take part in the trials being held from May 14-17 in Colorado Springs.  The list of participants includes some of the best in the nation, highlighted by three-time national champion and two-time national player of the year Breanna Stewart of Connecticut.

Trials will be used to determine the rosters for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team and the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team.  The 12 members of each squad, or finalists for each team, will be announced on the morning of May 17.

“We have more than enough talent to field two teams from among this group,” said Jim Foster, chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.  “It will be a very competitive trials as there are a number of very good players with vast USA Basketball experience and a very attractive group of first-time invitees.”

Handford receives the nod to travel to Colorado Springs following one of the most individually successful seasons in the history of St. John’s Women’s Basketball, averaging 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest.  In addition to leading the BIG EAST in scoring, Handford also registered the second-best single-season offensive output in school history, tallying 655 points.  Her efforts have vaulted her into seventh place on the school’s all-time scoring list heading into her senior campaign, just 22 points shy of the top five and 436 away from the school’s career mark.

A unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team for the second-straight season, Handford also found a spot on the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team for the second year in a row.

The Newark, N.J., native is one of three players from the BIG EAST to earn a place at trials, joining Chanise Jenkins of DePaul and Caroline Coyer of Villanova.  She is also just one of 19 members of the class of 2016 to take part in the try-outs.

The University of Iowa’s Lisa Bluder will lead the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team, along with assistant coaches Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky University and Scott Rueck of Oregon State University.

Northwestern University Head Coach Joe McKeown will be head coach of the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team, with assistant coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.

The World University Games will take place in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 4-13, while the 2015 Pan American Games will be held in Toronto from July 16-20.

For more information on the USA Basketball teams fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.usab.com

For more information on the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.redstormsports.com

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