The United States under-23 national women’s basketball team has added the services of a second Ohio State guard, USA Basketball announced Saturday.
Senior guard Linnae Harper, originally an alternate for the U23 team, was added to the 12-player roster that will compete in the upcoming Four Nations Tournament in Tokyo after South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson suffered a groin strain.
“I’m just very grateful for the opportunity,” Harper said in a statement. “This past week (at the U23 national team training camp) was great for me, being able to play with the best players and coaches in the country. I’m very excited that I have the chance to compete and represent the USA again and play in Tokyo.”
Harper, the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year in 2017, joins fellow Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, who was announced to the national team roster Friday. The U23 national team is coached by Louisville’s Jeff Walz and assistants Michelle Clark-Heard (Western Kentucky) and Courtney Banghart (Princeton).
The 5-feet-8 guard from Chicago was a force off the bench in her first season for the Buckeyes after transferring from Kentucky, averaging 8.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
The U23 team represents another line added to Harper’s national team resume. She was a member of the FIBA Americas U16 championship team in 2011, the U17 World Championship team in 2012 and the U19 World Championship team in 2013. Harper has also made multiple appearances representing Team USA in 3-on-3 competitions.
In addition to Harper and Mitchell, the U23 national team roster includes Ariel Atkins (Texas), Monique Billings (UCLA), Kalani Brown (Baylor), Jordin Canada (UCLA), Asia Durr (Louisville), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon), Brittany McPhee (Stanford), Jamie Nared (Tennessee), Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame) and Mercedes Russell (Tennessee).
Following two practices Sunday and another Monday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the U23 national team will head to Tokyo on Tuesday. The United States will face Australia, Canada and Japan on Aug. 12, 13 and 15, respectively.