USA Deaf Basketball International

Laura Edwards, our International Coach

Laura previously was the women head coach of the US Team for World Deaf Basketball Championships in Guangzhou, China in 2007.  She was the assistant coach for the US teams in Tappei, Taiwan in 2009 and Melbourne, Australia in 2005.  Laura is a four-time gold medalist in women's basketball from four consecutive Deaflympics games.  Laura has coached for girls' basketball at Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind and Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. She currently resides in Tucson where she is the Physical Education teacher at Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. She received her Master of Science degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 2002 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from the University of Puget Sound.

Women Players in the News

Check out this ESPN video about the Gallaudet Women's Basketball that was selected to the NCAA Division III for the first time since 1999. This video is not captioned.  


Parade article about the women's basketball team, http://www.parade.com/news/2011/03/20-ladies-of-the-court.html

U21 Women USA Champions in Lublin


Under 21 USA Women Basketball Team: Dates: June 25 - July 3, 2010

Top Left to Right: #8 Britny Latham, #9 Kiley Peterson, #10 Andrea Amati, #11 Alexandria Brinkley, #12 Easter Faafiti, #13 Ann Whited, #14 Tandy Lewis, #15 Shaquana McDonough,

Bottom Left to Right: #4 Claire Tucker, #5 Zamica Gage, Jessica Smith (Assistant); Deborah Ayers (Head Coach); Ayako Yoshida (Trainer); #6 Leslye Kang, #7 Jasmine Smith

USA Women Cruises Against Sweden to Earn Spot in Gold Medal Match
Written By Colin Whited
In arguably the marquee matchup of the women’s Under-21 World Championships in Lublin, Poland thus far, the United States faced off against international rival Sweden. At the end of the day, the U.S. featured a lineup with too much athleticism, speed, and talent for the opposing Swedes, as they took an early lead and cruised to a 74-27 victory.

The key for the Americans was a stifling defense, in which they used to gain a 26-4 advantage at the end of the opening period. Overall, the U.S. would force 30 turnovers and out-rebound Sweden 44-26.

“We knew coming into today’s game that Sweden relied on their transition offense to score points,” forward Andrea Amati (Frederick, Md.) explained afterwards. “They don’t have a strong half-court offense, so when we minimized their transition opportunities, it became difficult for them to put points on the board.”

Forward Easter Faafiti (Pittsburgh, Calif.) once again proved to be a force in the paint, accumulating 19 points on 8/12 shooting to lead all scorers. She also dished out four assists to lead the U.S.

“Whenever you have someone as good as Easter in the paint, a team becomes much more dynamic,” said guard Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.). “Her presence alone creates opportunities for everyone else.”

Britny Latham (Cleveland, Tenn.) scored 12 points and Whited added 10 to pace the offensive output for the Americans. Zamica Gage also had a solid all-around game, chipping in 9 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists.

The last time the U.S. women squared off against Sweden was 10 months ago in the Deaflympic finals in Taipei, Taiwan. The game was one for the ages, as the U.S. women suffered their first ever loss on the international stage, settling for silver as Sweden took gold. Today, the Americans used the loss as motivation.

“I was there when Sweden defeated the U.S. [in Taipei],” said Shaquana McDonough (Pembroke, Mass.), who scored six points and had six rebounds. “We definitely used that game as fuel for today’s matchup.”

The U.S. will play Lithuania for the gold medal tomorrow. Five days ago, the U.S. defeated the Lithuanians 76-39 in preliminary play.

Despite routing Lithuania earlier in the competition, U.S. head coach Debby Ayres hasn’t claimed the gold medal just yet.

“We have to play better than we did today if we want to beat Lithuania,” she said.

USA – Faafiti 19, Latham 12, Whited 10, Gage 9, Tucker 7, McDonough 6, Lewis 5, Smith 4, Brinkley 2, Amati 0, Peterson 0, Kang DNP.

Sweden – F. Tebibel 9, Linevall 6, Worsek 6, Lamhauge 3, J. Ouahid 3, Borgman 0, Hansen 0, Lorentzon 0, Nilsson 0, A. Ouahid 0, L. Tebibel 0.

Under 21 USA Team Biographies

                  Andrea Amati

Position:                     Guard

Age:                            20

Birthplace:                  Bridgeport, CT

Hometown:                 Frederick, MD

Ht:                               5'6

Event:                          U21 Women

 


Gallaudet Bison guard makes her Poland debut this year.  She is a junior majoring in Chemistry.  Hailing from Maryland School for the Deaf, this honors student received the Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Eastern Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association Champion and All-Star, Clerc Classic Tournament All-Star and 2nd Team Frederick News Post.  Andrea's favorite athlete is the retired NBA player, Michael Jordan.  She says that she is determined to accomplish her goals, which is rewarding enough. Her favorite film is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Her favorite food is spaghetti.  She doesn't like her food touching each other on a plate.

 

 

                  Easter Faafiti

Position:                   Forward

Age:                         21

Birthplace:               San Francisco, CA

Hometown:              Pittsburgh, CA

Ht: / Wt:                   5'9

Event:                       U21 Women

 


Power forward from Gallaudet University enjoys hanging out with her family.  Her favorite player is Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd.  Easter transferred from Pasadena City College where she received acclaim. She was named Capital Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year as a junior center for Gallaudet. She loves Hawaiian food and Samoan Wedding is her favorite movie.

 

NO PICTURE

                  Zamica Gage

Position:                      Guard

Age:                             18

Hometown:                  Washington, DC

Ht: / Wt:                       5'7

Event:                           U21 Women

 

Model Secondary School for the Deaf point guard will be a freshman at Gallaudet and has won awards at the Clerc Classic Tournaments VII and IX as Most Valuable Player.  She received the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletics Association Player of the Year in 2009. Zamica's favorite sports hero is WNBA Los Angeles Sparks Candace Parker.  She enjoys good ball handling and wants to improve her man-to-man defense.  She wants to prove to the world that a deaf girl can play basketball.  Her favorite food is avocado dip with jalapeno-flavored tortilla chips.  Her favorite movie is Slumdog Millionaire.  She loves music, dancing, and signing songs and enjoys meeting new people.

 

 

NO PICTURE

                  Alexandria Brinkley Green

Position:                       Guard

Hometown:                   Pleasanton, CA

Event:                           U21 Women

 

Guard from California School for the Deaf, Fremont enjoys photography and considers WNBA Mercury Diana Taurasi her favorite player.

 

 

                  Leslye Kang

Position:                    Guard

Age:                           18

Birthplace:                 Flashing, NY      

Hometown:                Wayne, NJ

Ht:                              5'6

Event:                         U21 Women


Mountain Lakes High School graduate is attending Gallaudet University and majoring in Physical Education.  She has received awards in field hockey, basketball, and track.  She was in the National Honor Society.  This guard loves Korean food and considers James LeBron her favorite athlete.  She likes the film, Facing the Giants.

 

 

 

 

                      Brittny Latham

Position:                       Guard

Age:                             18

Birthplace:                   Chattanooga, TN     

Hometown:                  Cleveland, TN

Ht:                                5'6

Event:                           U21 Women

 


Soon to be Gallaudet freshman shooting guard biology pre-med major hails from Cleveland High School where she was named All-Time #10 three points record holder in school history. She was also named All Region and received the Lady Raider Award.  Her team has the second most wins record holder and went to State competition twice.  Her team won district championships three times and won the Best of Preps Tournament.  Her team was ranked 11th in the USA poll and was coached under Rachel Powell Moore from the University of Georgia.  Brittny's favorite athletes are L.A. Sparks Candace Parker and Indiana Fever Tamika Catchings.  Brittny's strengths are shooting three point baskets and playing defense.  She likes when the team plays together as a family and winning games.  She likes helping others.  Her favorite food is anything that is BBQ and Chinese and loves going to the lake.  Her favorite films are Hangover and Four Christmases.

 


NO PICTURE

                 Tandy Lewis

Position:                  Guard/ Forward

Age:                         18

Birthplace:               Washington, DC       

Hometown:              Frederick, MD

Ht:                            5'7

Event:                       U21 Women

 

Maryland School for the Deaf guard enjoys playing sports and hanging out with friends.  She will be attending Gallaudet University as a freshman and will be majoring in sports psychology and business. Her favorite player is Phoenix Suns Steve Nash.  Tandy has received awards in basketball.  She loves Asian food and reading books. 

 

 

 

                     Shaquana McDonough

 Position:                       Guard

Age:                               19

Birthplace:                     Boston, MA

Hometown:                    Pembroke, MA

Ht: / Wt:                         5'7
International teams:       soccer team, Taipei, China, Deaflympics 2009

Event:                           U21 Women

 

This sophomore from Gallaudet is majoring in physical education.  She is from the Learning Center for the Deaf and played on the Gallaudet team as a freshman guard. She has several awards in soccer and basketball from high school and college.  Her favorite athletes are Mia Hamm and Lisa Leslie. She enjoys listening to music and watching TV shows.  She loves her family and friends and loves to laugh.  Her favorite food is apple pie, chicken casserole, and Taco Bell.

 

 

                           Kiley Petersen

 

Position:                           Guard

Age:                                  19

Birthplace:                        Omaha, NE

Hometown:                       Omaha, NE

Ht: / Wt:                            5'3

Event:                               U21 Women

 


Rochester Institute on Technology sophomore, majoring in Lab Science Technology is making her U21 debut in Poland.  Graduating from Iowa School for the Deaf where she received MVP four straight years and Outstanding Sportsmanship.  She also excelled in volleyball.  She was in the Honor Society and made Athlete of the Year.  Kiley lists NBA player, Cleveland Cavaliers Lebron James as her favorite athlete.  She believes that teamwork, hard work and good communication as strengths and she has a drive to succeed.  Her favorite food is pepperoni pizza and her favorite film is Stand By Me.

 

 

 

                           Jasmine Smith

 

Position:                   Guard/ Forward

Age:                          Not available

Birthplace:                Not available

Hometown:               Mulga, AL

   Ht:                            Not available

   Event:                       U21 Women

 

Jasmine loves chilling and hanging out with friends, playing basketball with boys.  She enjoys watching professional and college basketball.  Her favorite sports player is NBA Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James.

 


NO PICTURE

 

                           Claire Sheffer Tucker

Position:                           Guard

Age:                                  Not available

Birthplace:                        Not available

Hometown:                       Middletown, MD

Ht:                                    Not available

Event:                               U21 Women

 

Shooting guard from Maryland School for the Deaf enjoys working out, hiking with her dog, and playing sports.  Her favorite player is Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo.

 

 

 

                           Ann Whited

Position:                           Guard

Age:                                  Not available

Birthplace:                        Not available

Hometown:                       Fishers, IN

Ht:                                     5'4

Event:                               U21 Women

 

 

 

NO PICTURE

 

                           Jessica Smith

Position:                        Assistant Coach

Birthplace:                    High Point, NC

Hometown:                   Bennettsville, SC

Ht:                                 5'2

Event:                           U21 Women

 

Assistant Coach Jessica from Limestone College in South Carolina has coached basketball, track, and volleyball for South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.  She enjoys traveling out of the country to represent USA.  She believes that the more you focus on your goal, the more likely you will accomplish them.  Her favorite food is sushi and seafood.  Her favorite athletes are Michael Jordan and Grant Hill.

 


 

                           Debbie Ayres

 

Position:                       Head Coach

Hometown:                   Sacramento, CA

Residence:                    Not available

Ht:                                Not available

Event:                           U21 Women

 


California School for the Deaf Girl's Basketball Coach coached the 2002 Deaf Women's World Games Team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece.  She hails from California State University of Chico and University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  She enjoys biking, tennis, hiking, dancing and traveling.  Her favorite coach is Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball coach Pat Summitt.

 

2nd World Deaf Basketball Championships in Guangzhou, China. Dates: June 21-30, 2007

STANDING: Jennifer Savage (Team Manager) - CA, Barbara Hyde (Asst. Coach) - CA, #7 Kallie Williams - TX, #5 Abby Moose - PA,
#12 Jessica Salisbury - MI, #6 Jennifer Decuir - CA, #4 Priscilla Biskupiak - MD, Laura Edwards (Head Coach) - AZ,
Jeff Liu (Trainer) - CA. KNEELING: #8 Shari Bailey - UT, #11 Kristin Feldman - CT, #10 Victoria Crockett - CA, #9 Brittainy Payne - NJ.


USA Women Overcomes Sweden 64-56 for the Gold, Remain Defending World Champions

 

By Amelia Mowl

 

The USA Women’s team had their hands full as they came in the championship game ready to face Sweden once again in the tournament.  Prior to the medal round tournament, USA Women faced Sweden in a round robin game and lost 52-51.         

 

The USA Women were clearly determined not to fall to Sweden again and lose their reign as world champions.  The team began preparations for the battle through team meetings, practices, and individual meetings with Head Coach Laura Edwards and Assistant Coach Barbara Hyde.  Sure enough, USA Women came in the game prepared, focused, and executed their game plan as they defeated Sweden 64-56. 

 

We were mad.  We let everyone on that team do whatever they wanted with us in the first match up.  We played poorly on defense so we concentrated on helpside defense in practice since that loss.  As a result, we were able to shut down the "hot spots" that killed us, their offensive rebounding and three point shooting,” Laura Edwards said of the USA Women’s loss to Sweden earlier in the tournament.

 

Sweden, on the other hand, did not come in the game today with the same focus and intensity they played with in the last game with USA.  Sweden has never won the gold in women basketball and the pressure of being in the championship game was clearly a factor in the game for Sweden.  

 

USA and Sweden went neck-to-neck in the first half and neither team had control over the game.  USA struggled to shut down Sweden’s CeCe Ferm, who had 17 points in the first half alone off 7-for-9 field goals.  But, Coach Edwards said it was all part of the game plan.  “We knew that CeCe Ferm would get her points, but we did not want anyone else to get theirs.  We made sure that we had the rotation defense moving at all times and keep the passing lanes clogged.  That strategy worked out very well for us as the whole Sweden team scored only 29 points, to Ferm's 27.” 

 

Sweden lost the opportunity to gain a comfortable lead at the free throw line as the team shot 6-for-17 free throws in the first half.  USA Women went into halftime on top of Sweden, 32-30, with USA’s Abby Moose leading the way with 11 points off 3-for-5 treys.  

 

The second half saw even more intense competition from both teams.  Fortunately, Sweden’s Ferm’s shooting cooled down in the second half.  Ferm finished the game with 27 points and

 

Johanna Karmgard contributed 15 points.  Ferm and Karmgard did not have a supporting cast on the offensive end as Ferm and Karmgard combined for 42 of Sweden’s 56 points.  Meanwhile, USA had four starters in double-digits.  Victoria Crockett and Abby Moose led USA with 16 points apiece.  Shari Bailey and Jennifer Decuir added 11 points each to USA’s 64 as well.     

 

Although the game statistics for USA and Sweden were similar, the key difference in the game was the turnovers - USA had 15 and Sweden with 23.  USA Women ended the game shooting 40 percent from the floor. 

 

“Our bench was ready and contributed mightily to the game effort with their energy and unselfishness.  It was a total USA team effort from the start to finish.  This team clearly deserved the gold and it was a privilege to coach these girls,” Edwards said.  Edwards won four gold medals as a player on the Deaflympics USA Women Basketball team.

 

Shari Bailey and Jennifer Decuir of the USA Women were selected as tournament all-stars.  The 3rd World Deaf Basketball Championship tournament will take place in Italy in 2011.  The USA Men and Women now have their hearts set on preparing for the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 

 

Game Statistics

 

Date:  June 30, 2007            

Time:  1:00 PM                       

Location: Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Centre Gymnasium, Court A

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

USA

15

17

15

18

64

Sweden

15

15

8

17

56

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

#

FG

3PT

FT

Pts

ORB

DRB

TR

Ast

TO

BS

ST

Ch

Min

Priscilla Biskupiak

4

1/4

0/0

0/0

2

1

1

2

0

0

0

2

0

20

Abby Moose

5

2/9

4/9

0/1

16

3

0

3

3

4

0

6

0

40

Jennifer Decuir

6

4/10

0/1

3/7

11

1

5

6

1

3

0

5

0

34

Kallie Williams

7

0/0

0/0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Shari Bailey

8

4/8

0/0

3/7

11

4

6

10

6

4

3

0

0

38

Brittany Payne

9

1/2

0/0

0/3

2

1

3

4

0

1

0

0

0

13

Victoria Crockett

10

7/14

0/0

2/5

16

3

3

6

0

2

0

0

0

26

Kristin Feldman

11

0/1

0/0

0/0

0

0

2

2

0

1

0

1

0

10

Jessica Salisbury

12

1/1

0/0

0/0

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

Barbara Hyde

13

2/6

0/0

0/0

4

2

2

4

0

0

0

1

0

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Total

 

22/55

4/10

8/23

64

15

23

38

10

15

3

15

0

 

 

 

Total FG

1st Half

 

%

2nd Half

 

%

Game

22/55

40%

3 PT FG

1st Half

 

%

2nd Half

 

%

Game

4/10

40%

Free Throws

1st Half

 

%

2nd Half

 

%

Game

8/23

34.75%

 

 

2009 Taipei Deaflympics USA Team Loses to Sweden to win Silver

The USA Women's Team won the silver medal as they finally were defeated by Sweden in the hard fought gold medal game after dominating all Deaflympics and World Deaf Basketball Championships since 1981.

Women's Deaf National Team Roster

 

Name

 

Homestate

School

#4 Shabnam Ramzpour5'9Minnesota  Rochester Institute of Techology
#5Abby Moose 5'7Pennsylvania Grove City Gallaudet
#6 Jennifer Decuir 5'6California UC Davis
#7 Ida Dotson 5'8Arizona Marshall University
#8 Buffy Hummel 5'3WashingtonWestern Oregon University
#9Stacy Nowak 5'11New Mexico Gallaudet University
#10Nixo Lanning 5'2New MexicoGallaudet University
#11 Victoria Crockett 6'0California Gallaudet University
#12 Easter Faafiti 5'10California Gallaudet University
#14 Laura Edwards 5'10 ArizonaUniversity of Puget Sound
#15 Barbara Hyde 6'0 CaliforniaUniversity of Arizona
    
 David Hamilton California International Director 
 Meg Sanders Arizona Head Coach 
 Laura Edwards Arizona Assistant Coach

                           20th Summer Deaflympics

 

Melbourne, Australia

USA Women Basketball – Gold Medalists

January 5 -16, 2005

Click on the logo below to view the team roster