After a season in which they got State to their first ever number one seed and found themselves on All-American lists, Elissa Cunane and Jakia Brown-Turner’s basketball season continues.
Wednesday, both were made finalist for the 2021 USA Basketball Women’s AmeriCup Team. After four days of trials, the number of players narrowed down to 20, then 13, before a final, singular cut of one player on June 1st. Out of the 13 finalist, Cunane and Brown-Turner join Maryland and South Carolina as the most represented school with two player.
Cunane had possibly the greatest season, awards and stats-wise, to any player in State history last year. ESPN All-American First Team, AP and USBWA All-American Second Team, First Team All-ACC, ACCT MVP and finalist for a number of other national awards. Averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 boards a game, she was the lynchpin that held the team together at moments throughout the season. It would seem a no-brainer that she’ll make the final cut to rep the USA.
Brown-Turner took a HUGE step forward last season. AP All-American Honorable Mention, First Team All-ACC and started every game for the Wolfpack. Back to back 20+ point games put her into the ACC Player of the Week spotlight, finishing the season averaging 13.5 points and 5 boards.
Team USA is coached by South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, who is very familiar with what Cunane and Brown-Turner can do. Both players will continue to focus and train before regrouping for one last trial run June 1st. The 2021 FIBA AmeriCup plays from June 11-19, with the top four finishers competing in the 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament.