By Liam Morales | May 4, 2016

Cactus Shadows’ Caitlin Bickle to try out for 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship

Cactus Shadows High School Basketball standout Caitlin Bickle is one of 35 athletes to accept an invitation to attend trials for the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team. Trials will take place May 26-30 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “I am ready physically but mentally I have to be ready because it’s up in higher altitude,” Bickle said.

If selected, Bickle and her teammates will represent the USA at the 2016 FIBA (International Basketball Federation ) U17 World Championship June 22-July 2 in Zaragoza, Spain. After failing to make the team last year, Bickle believes she has a better shot this year.

“Representing my country is a really big deal to me,” Bickle said. “I love playing basketball so playing for USA would be insane.”

According to USA Basketball, finalists for the 2016 USA Women’s U17 Team will be announced on May 30, and they will remain in Colorado Springs for training camp through June 3. The team is going to be coached by Dori Oldaker, the head coach at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania. “This gives her an opportunity to grow as a basketball player and be around some great competition,” Cactus Shadows coach Richie Willis said.

Bickle led the 2015-16 Falcons to the state championship game where they lost 49-40 but finished the season with a 28-5 record and a team ranking of sixth in the state.

Bickle led the team in almost every category for season averages; points (13.6), rebounds (6.1), assists (3.3) and she also finished second in steals (2.1). “When you have a player that’s versatile like that, it makes coaching pretty simple,” Willis said. When asked what the strongest aspect of her game is Bickle said, “probably attacking the basket.”

Former teammate and team captain Corinne Querrey believes Bickle’s competitive nature will allow her to thrive at the tryouts. “Knowing her, she won’t settle for anything less than making that USA team,” Querrey said.

The official 12-player roster for the USA U17 World Championship Team will be announced on June 3.