Summer is peaking and so is USA Basketball! August 12-15, the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 team will travel to the Katayanagi Arena in Tokyo, Japan to participate in the inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament. The team, comprised of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in college who are 23 years old or younger and U.S. citizens, is facing a change in their roster after news of an injury.
Ohio State University junior Linnae Harper has been added to the U23 team on August 4, after A’ja Wilson (Uni. of South Carolina) suffered a groin strain. USA U23 coach Jeff Walz expressed to USAB that he wishes “A’ja the best and speedy recovery,” but has “no doubt that she will pick up things quickly.” His confidence in Harper could be partly because she is not new to the USA Basketball organization.
Harper’s USA Basketball experience dates back to 2011. She has won six medals total in her USAB run. Harper most recently medalled at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Cup, earning a bronze medal. She also received a silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games after receiving golds at the 2013, 2012 and 2011 U19, U17 and U16 FIBA World Championships.
Notably excited to be the newest addition to the team, Harper told USAB she is “very grateful for the opportunity” to “[be] able to play with the best players and coaches in the country,” and to do so in Tokyo.
Harper was honored as the 2017 Big Ten Conference Sixth Player of the Year in her junior year at Ohio State. She averaged 8.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game as a junior. She joins Ariel Atkins, Monique Billings, Kalani Brown, Jordin Canada, Asia Durr, Sabrina Ionescu, Brittany McPhee, Kelsey Mitchell, Jamie Nared, Arike Ogunbowale and Mercedes Russell as she represents the United States in this Tokyo face-off.