This summer, Lauren McNamara-Clement, a senior at Leesville, participated in the USA U17 Girls Basketball World Championship Team Trials and made it all the way through to the final 40 players. The tryouts took place from May 26th – 30th and were held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
McNamara-Clement, a 6-foot-3 center, competed against some of the best basketball players in the country for a chance to represent the United States in Spain at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Of the 143 girls who tried out, only 12 players made up the final roster, and McNamara-Clement, who just recently announced her commitment to play basketball at the United States Military Academy, said that being able to make it so far helped her grow physically and mentally.
“I definitely think that it helped with confidence, just being with such great players and doing so well,” she said. “Because I made it to the top 40, to the final cuts.”
At the tryouts, players were able learn new skills and ideas by scrimmaging against each other and attending classes about sports psychology and drug testing. McNamara-Clement tried not to get her expectations too high going in but ended up having a great experience that helped her develop as a basketball player.
Ben Daniels, the varsity girls basketball coach at Leesville, said that for McNamara-Clement to have made the top 40 is an amazing honor and that her experience at the trials will help her continue to mature into an even better player. He also said that McNamara-Clement has a unique skill set and an admirable personality that allows her to effectively score with her back to the basket and hit long range jump shots and help her succeed off the court. “[McNamara-Clement] has just a ton of qualities that every coach looks for in a player,” Daniels said. “And if I had 12 of her, I would never lose a game.”