May 9, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the fourth time in five years, the University of Notre Dame will be represented at the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Trials, as rising sophomore guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) has accepted an invitation from USA Basketball to compete in the USA Under-20 Women’s National Team Trials, which will take place May 18-21 in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. It also marks the second time in three years that Schrader will make the trip to Colorado Springs — in the summer of 2004, the 6-0 guard participated in the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, earning a silver medal with the North Team after ranking among the top three in the tournament for scoring (14.8 ppg. – third), rebounding (8.6 rpg. – third) and field goal percentage (.542 – second). She remained in town for the 2004 USA Women’s Junior World Championship Qualifying Team Trials, where she was one of 17 finalists for the 12-member squad that went on to claim the gold medal.
A total of 37 players have been invited to take part in this month’s USA Basketball U20 Trials, which will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the United States at the eight-team FIBA Americas U20 Championships, scheduled for Aug. 9-13 at a site to be determined. The top three finishing teams in the tournament will qualify for the 2007 FIBA U21 Women’s World Championship in Guatemala. The 2006 USA U20 National Team will be coached by Michigan State mentor Joanne P. McCallie, with California head coach Joanne Boyle and Furman skipper Sam Dixon serving as assistants.
“I am very excited and honored to have this opportunity to compete for a spot on our national team and wear the red, white and blue,” Schrader said. “It will be a challenge going up against some of the nation’s top players, but it’s a test I’m looking forward to taking. I feel my past experiences with USA Basketball will be beneficial to my chances of making the team, as will the time I’ve spent thus far playing at Notre Dame and in the nation’s toughest conference (the BIG EAST). No matter what happens, I know the time I spend out in Colorado and the lessons I learn will be tremendously important when it comes to the rest of my career here at Notre Dame.”
Schrader made exceptional strides in her freshman season under the Golden Dome, ranking second on the team in scoring (10.5 points per game) and first in rebounding (5.4 rebounds per game), while starting 27 times, which tied for second-most starts ever by an Irish freshman. Schrader scored in double figures 14 times as a rookie, including three 20-point games, and registered a pair of double-doubles, with her 10-point, 14-rebound effort on opening night vs. Michigan going down as just the second double-double ever logged by a Notre Dame freshman in her college debut (first since 1979). She was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on Nov. 21, and also earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Dec. 5.
When it came to crunch time late in the 2005-06 season, Schrader was a major force, averaging 13.7 points per game during Notre Dame’s final 12 games, including 17.3 ppg. in the postseason. Her efforts helped propel Notre Dame to its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth (13th overall) and in her NCAA Tournament debut vs. Boston College, Schrader offered a possible sign of things to come, scoring a career-high 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting.
“We were very pleased with Lindsay’s progress during her freshman season and this USA Basketball selection is just more evidence of her development,” 20th-year Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She was not at all intimidated or fazed about making the move to the college level and really proved to be a valuable contributor for us from day one. We think this opportunity with USA Basketball will help add another level to Lindsay’s game, because we truly believe that as she continues to work hard and improve, she has the potential to be one of this country’s truly great players.”
Should she be selected for the final 12-member USA U20 National Team, Schrader would become the fifth Notre Dame women’s basketball player, and the third in as many years, to compete for her country on the international stage. Most recently, Megan Duffy (now a member of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx) earned a gold medal as a co-captain and starter for the 2005 USA World University Games Team, while Ruth Riley was a member of the 2004 U.S. Senior National Team that struck gold at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Riley also made prior USA Basketball appearances in 1998 (Select Team) and 1999 (World University Games Team), while former Irish All-Americans Katryna Gaither (two teams, two medals) and Beth Morgan (four teams, three medals) also have suited up for Team USA. All told, Notre Dame players have earned nine medals in international competition, including four gold medals.
Schrader follows in the footsteps of some of her current and former teammates as USA Basketball Trials participants. In addition to Duffy’s appearance last summer, former All-America forward Jacqueline Batteast (now with the WNBA’s Detroit Shock) took part in the USA Trials in both 2002 and 2003, while Teresa Borton attended in 2002 and recently-departed forward Courtney LaVere competed in 2003.
The BIG EAST will have more representatives than any other conference (seven) at the 2006 U20 National Team Trials. Joining Schrader will be: Rutgers’ Matee Ajavon, Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn, Connecticut’s Renee Montgomery, DePaul’s Allie Quigley and Pittsburgh’s Marcedes Walker. The complete roster of invitees for this year’s U20 Trials can be found on the USA Basketball web site.
— ND —