Johnson's dad, Kenneth, said that he, along with Ka'lia, were under the impression that everyone who participated in the 2009 trials would be back in 2010. But as evidenced by the 2010 trials roster, that is not the case.
Come on, get with the program, 'rents and kids.
In total, eight players who were invited to the U16 National Team trials a year ago were not invited back this year. In talking with some of those players and their parents -- representing seven of the eight players not included in this year's trials -- there was a common theme: confusion.
If you expected your child to get an automatic bid "just 'cause," you need to listen better. USABasketball is not just about picking the elite of the elite. They want the best players, but attitude, behavior, commitment and understanding the responsibility of wearing the red, white and blue uniform comes into the mix. And nothing -- I mean NOTHING, is ever guaranteed.
The history of women's USA Basketball is full the stories of players who weren't invited, who were invited and got cut, or were finally, finally tapped as part of the team. The fact that those players know a spot has to be earned is one of the things that makes women's USA basketball so significant.
So, parents and athletes, even if you expected to invited to trials and you weren't, if you're "scared to ask why" you're shortchanging yourself -- 'cause if you don't know "why," you're only undermining your future chances. 'Cause, while I won't deny there can be politics involved (one of the reasons coaches don't pick the teams), USA Basketball is all about winning. And winning means the gold. (Just ask Tara, or any USA Senior coach, about those expectations.)
And Chris, I'm a little surprised at you -- 'cause you know Carol Callan and USA Basketball have been doing this a looooooooooong time. So, while the majority of your piece seems intended to stir the fire of some "USA Basketball scandal," this sentence seems to be the most on-point assessment of the situation:
Perhaps the misunderstanding or misinterpretations came in part because these athletes are the best in their respective regions, and most have never been cut.Welcome to USA Basketball, y'all. Your next step is crucial.