Revisiting star-studded 2019 USA U-19 FIBA roster featuring Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers before they took over NCAA

USA’s U-19 2019 FIBA roster was much like many of the basketball stars that littered its roster — it didn’t miss.

Those teams are typically loaded with plenty of big names from the sport before they experience their full breakouts at the college or WNBA level, but even by typical Team USA standards, the 2019 edition was particularly loaded.

The roster is a who’s who of the basketball world. It featured the two most recent WNBA Rookie of the Year winners, both of whom were first overall picks. It’s likely featuring the next No. 1 pick in Caitlin Clark, as well as other NCAA basketball stars like Paige Bueckers and Cameron Brink.

Unsurprisingly, the team carved through the 2019 FIBA U-19 Women’s Basketball World Cup. It went 3-0 in group play, outscoring opponents by a combined 90 points in those games, then swept through the knockout stage without losing a game with an average margin of victory of 16.3 points to capture the gold medal.

Who wore the red, white and blue for USA’s 2019 FIBA U-19 roster? Here’s what you need to know.

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2019 USA U-19 FIBA roster

Player Position College WNBA Draft (Team, Round-Overall)
Ashley Joens G Iowa State Wings, 2-19 (2023)
Paige Bueckers G UConn 2024 WNBA Draft eligible
Caitlin Clark G Iowa 2024 WNBA Draft eligible
Celeste Taylor G Texas/Duke/Ohio State 2024 WNBA Draft eligible
Cameron Brink F Stanford 2024 WNBA Draft eligible
Hailey Van Lith G Louisville/LSU 2024 WNBA Draft eligible
Queen Egbo F Baylor Fever, 1-10 (2022)
Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker F Michigan Dream, 2-15 (2022)
Diamond Miller G Maryland Lynx, 1-2 (2023)
Rhyne Howard G Kentucky Dream, 1-1 (2022)
Aliyah Boston F South Carolina Fever, 1-1 (2023)
Fran Belibi F Stanford NA

That’s six WNBA Draft picks, including four first-round picks, so far. Based on Sporting News’ 2024 WNBA mock draft, Clark and Brink both project as first-round picks. Though Bueckers is eligible for the WNBA Draft, she has announced she’s returning to UConn for a redshirt senior year.

The highlights of the roster are obvious: Rhyne Howard and Aliyah Boston went first overall in back-to-back WNBA Drafts and proceeded to win WNBA Rookie of the Year in both seasons. Between their three seasons in the league, they have three All-Star nods between them.

Diamond Miller, who went second after Boston, also had a standout rookie season in the WNBA, averaging 12.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Lynx in her first year in the league. 

And the players still left in college are stars. Clark might wind up going down in history as the best college women’s basketball player of all time. It speaks to Team USA’s depth that she had the eighth-most minutes on the team. Bueckers played more minutes than anyone and trailed only Howard with 11.6 points per game (Howard had 13.1 points per game). Before Clark, Bueckers had emerged as one of the faces of the sport.

Brink played the fewest minutes of any player on the team in 2019, yet she has gone on to have an incredible career at Stanford, earning three All-American honors, three Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and winning a national championship as a freshman.

Hailey Van Lith was the top transfer in the country last year when she left Louisville and ultimately landed with LSU. On that U-19 team, she played a key role as one of the starting guards, averaging 9.1 points with a 41.1 field goal percentage.

Naz Hillmon was the other starter alongside Bueckers, Van Lith, Howard and Boston. Hillmon was a force on the boards, leading the team with 7.6 rebounds per game in addition to 7.4 points. She had an impressive career at Michigan, earning two AP All-American honors and four All-Big Ten honors while averaging 18.3 points and 8.9 rebounds before being drafted 15th overall by the Dream.

2019 USA U-19 stats

Here’s a look at the numbers posted by the team en route to a gold medal:

Player FG% 3PT% FT% PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Paige Bueckers 43.4% 35.3% 60.0% 11.6 4.1 5.4 1.9 0.6
Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker 48.9% 0.0% 46.2% 7.4 7.6 1.3 1.1 0.0
Hailey Van Lith 41.1% 29.4% 56.5% 9.1 2.3 2.3 1.9 0.0
Rhyne Howard 38.5% 44.7% 78.9% 13.1 5.1 1.4 1.4 0.4
Aliyah Boston 44.3% 0.0% 55.6% 8.4 6.1 1.4 1.0 1.6
Celeste Taylor 36.6% 10.0% 66.7% 5.0 2.6 1.4 2.0 0.3
Fran Belibi 68.8% 0.0% 47.6% 7.7 7.3 0.3 2.0 0.9
Caitlin Clark 33.3% 25.0% 80.0% 5.3 1.3 1.6 1.1 0.1
Queen Egbo 58.3% 0.0% 72.2% 7.9 5.4 0.3 0.7 0.9
Ashley Joens 18.5% 12.5% 25.0% 1.9 1.9 0.3 0.6 0.1
Diamond Miller 33.3% 0.0% 100% 2.0 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.3
Cameron Brink 30.8% 0.0% 33.3% 2.0 3.4 0.4 0.0 0.8

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