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Pan American Games: Team USA’s five-a-side team seeks first gold since 2007

Led by top college players, including Princeton’s Bella Alarie and Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter, Team USA’s five-a-side basketball team looks to follow in the footsteps of its 3x3 counterparts and win the Pan American Games tournament this week.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 05 Women’s Penn at Princeton
Princeton’s Bella Alarie (left) brings her experience as the 2018 and 2019 Ivy League Player of the Year to the United States five-a-side team at the Pan American Games.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A mix of NCAA stalwarts and young stars will take center stage at the Pan American Games five-a-side basketball tournament this week in Lima, Peru. With the 3x3 team winning gold a week ago, this tournament offers a chance for a United States clean sweep on the women’s side.

The 2019 squad aims to follow in the footsteps of the 2007 team, the last to win Pan Am gold for the United States. Angel McCoughtry, Candice Wiggins and Marissa Coleman starred went 5-0 and won each game by an average of 25.8 points to take the tournament.

Since then, the United States hasn’t been back on top of the Pan Am Games podium. In 2011, Breanna Stewart (then in high school), Avery Warley-Talbert and a team made up of mostly NCAA mid-major players finished seventh (of eight teams). Team USA then took silver in 2015 with a team led by Stewart and then-UConn teammate Moriah Jefferson, along with a host of other current WNBA players.

While the United States is known for breezing through international tournaments like the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics, USA Basketball fills the Pan Am Games roster with collegiate players. It’s mainly due to not wanting to pull professional players from the WNBA. Although this could reduce possibilities for winning, it offers a good chance for college stars to gain senior international experience.

In this year’s tournament, seven U.S. players are making their five-a-side international debuts, while the other five have represented the United States at the youth level.

If the United States can get through Group B, which features Argentina, Colombia and first-timer U.S. Virgin Islands, they’ll face a difficult challenge in the semifinals and medal game. Group A also has a first-timer in Paraguay, but it also contains 2015 gold medalist Canada, 2011 gold medalist Puerto Rico and 2011 bronze medalist Brazil.

Team USA roster

While no two players are from the same school, the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 each have multiple members represented. Bella Alarie (Ivy League) and Beatrice Mompremier (ACC) are the only players not to have a teammate from their conferences.

Team USA’s roster includes:

  • Bella Alarie, Princeton
  • Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech
  • Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M
  • Kathleen Doyle, Iowa
  • Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
  • Taylor Mikesell, Maryland
  • Beatrice Mompremier, Miami
  • Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA
  • Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State
  • Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern
  • Kiana Williams, Stanford
  • Peyton Williams, Kansas State

This year’s team is coached by Michigan State’s Suzy Merchant, Buffalo’s Felisha Legette-Jack and Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer. Of the three, Schaefer is the only one without prior USA Basketball coaching experience.

Tournament schedule

Later-round game information will be updated as results are available.

United States vs. Argentina

When: Tuesday, August 6, at 10 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

United States vs. U.S. Virgin Islands

When: Wednesday, August 7, at 7 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

United States vs. Colombia

When: Thursday, August 8, at 2:30 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

Medal semifinal: Brazil vs. Colombia

When: Friday, August 9, at 7 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

Medal semifinal: United States vs. Puerto Rico

When: Friday, August 9, at 10 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

Bronze medal game: Colombia vs. Puerto Rico

When: Saturday, August 10, at 7 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

Gold medal game: United States vs. Brazil

When: Saturday, August 10, at 10 p.m. ET

How to watch: ESPN3 (in Spanish)

The complete schedule, including consolation placement game information, can be found here.