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Warley, Team USA to Open Pan Am Games Friday

October 19, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Avery Warley battles against Team USA teammate Christine Flores in the post during one of the squad's practices in Houston, Texas earlier this week. (Photo courtesy Aaron Sprecher/USA Basketball)

Avery Warley battles against Team USA teammate Christine Flores in the post during one of the squad's practices in Houston, Texas earlier this week. (Photo courtesy Aaron Sprecher/USA Basketball)

Please note updated TV broadcast information below (as of Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m.)

Liberty redshirt senior center Avery Warley and the 2011 USA Basketball Women's Pan American Games Team are preparing for the start of competition in Guadalajara, Mexico this weekend. Team USA will tip off Group A play Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern, with a game against Argentina.

Team USA's Group A schedule will continue Saturday at 6:30 p.m. versus Puerto Rico and then conclude Sunday at 9 p.m. versus host Mexico. The top two teams from each group will advance to Monday's semifinal round. The 2011 Pan American Games women's basketball gold medal game will then take place Tuesday at 9 p.m. All games will be played inside of the CODE Dome.

How to Follow Team USA
ESPN2 plans to broadcast Team USA's matchup with Mexico live, Sunday at 9 p.m. Additionally, if Team USA makes it to Monday's semifinal round, ESPN2 also plans to televise that contest.

In addition, ESPN Deportes is providing extensive television coverage of the Pan American Games, with all of the station's broadcasts also being streamed on ESPN3. Some of the women's basketball games will be featured as part of the coverage, which will highlight each of the 36 sports being contested at the Pan American Games.

ESPN Deportes/ESPN3 will air coverage during each day of women's basketball competition, including Friday (4-11 p.m. Eastern), Saturday (6-11 p.m.), Sunday (8-11 p.m.), Monday (4-8 p.m.) and Tuesday (4-11 p.m.).

The official website of USA Basketball ( will also provide regular updates on Team USA's progress throughout the tournament.

Powerful in the Post
Avery Warley is part of an impressive group of post players on the 2011 USA Basketball Women's Pan American Games Team roster. The Big South Preseason Player of the Year will be joined by Hofstra's Shante Evans, Missouri's Christine Flores, Gonzaga's Kayla Standish and the lone high school player on the roster, Connecticut verbal commitment Breanna Stewart.

Evans was a first team All-CAA performer last season, Standish earned the same recognition in the West Coast Conference and Flores was the second-leading scorer on Missouri's 2010-11 squad (13.1 ppg). Stewart, just the second high schooler ever to play for Team USA in the Pan American Games (also Nancy Lieberman in 1975), is the tallest player on the team at 6-7.

Stewart is also the youngest player on the Team USA roster at 17, while Warley is the squad's oldest player at 24 years old.

Hoping to Make History
Avery Warley will aim to become the first Liberty women's basketball player to win a gold medal in international competition. Katie (Feenstra) Mattera has come the closest previously, as the 2005 graduate helped Team USA claim a silver medal at the 2007 FIBA World League Tournament in Russia.

Changing the Rules
Avery Warley and her teammates will have to get used to some different rules during the Pan American Games. Games will still be 40 minutes in length, but they will consist of four 10-minute quarters instead of college's two 20-minute halves.

The lane will be four feet wider than in collegiate basketball (16 feet versus 12 feet), while the college 30-second shot clock will be trimmed to 24 seconds.

Warley will also sport a different jersey number during the Pan American Games, trading in her traditional No. 23 for No. 15. In international competition, all players must wear uniforms numbered between 4 and 15.

Tradition of Excellence
Overall, the USA women in Pan American Games competitions have won seven of 14 gold medals, as well as four silver and two bronze medals, compiling a 72-12 overall record.     

Most recently, Team USA won the gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, posting a perfect 5-0 record. That squad was led by then college standouts Angel McCoughtry of Louisville and Candice Wiggins of Stanford.

Throughout Pan American Games history, some of the most notable Team USA women's basketball representatives include: Jennifer Azzi (1991); Cynthia Cooper (1987); Anne Donovan (1983 and 1987); Teresa Edwards (1987 and 1991); Pat (Head) Summitt (1975); Nancy Lieberman (1975 and 1979); Janel McCarville (2003); Katrina McClain (1987 and 1991); Carla McGhee (1995); Ann Meyers (1975 and 1979); Cheryl Miller (1983); Dawn Staley (1995); and Sheryl Swoopes (1995).

Watch a video interview with Team USA head coach Ceal Barry and several players including Avery Warley:video platform video management video solutions video player