Spartan & WNBA Star Aerial Powers Named to 2016 USA Basketball Select Team

Photo Credit: Matthew Mitchell / MSU Athletic Communications
Photo Credit: Matthew Mitchell / MSU Athletic Communications

Powers will represent the United States for the second time.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State All-American Aerial Powers was named to the USA Basketball Women’s Select Team. She is one of 11 members chosen to the team along with former Big Ten rival Kahleah Copper.

The USA Select Team, comprised of young USA National Team members and future USA National Team hopefuls, will train alongside the 2016 USA Women’s National Team July 23-24 in Los Angeles, California before tipping-off the USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon in an exhibition game July 25 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.

“This is a really good group of young and talented athletes,” said USA and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who has directed the USA National Team to an overall 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships. “Having them train against our USA National Team will not only help us prepare for Rio, but it will also give us a chance to evaluate them for future USA Basketball teams. I’ve already had the opportunity to work with several of them in a USA Basketball National Team setting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them as well as the rest of the USA Select Team in this kind of setting.”

Powers, who currently plays for the Dallas Wings, is joined on the team with her Wings teammate Odyssey Sims. In her rookie season with Dallas, Powers has played in all 21 games, including making her first start on July 9. She is averaging 10.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in the WNBA.

The Detroit, Michigan, native has experience with USA Basketball, earning a gold medal in the World University games in South Korea last July. Powers also led the team in scoring for the tournament with 18.0 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting from the floor. She averaged 6.0 rebounds per game in six games. The United States finished with a perfect 6-0 record after going 3-0 in the group stage and sweeping through the medal round.

Powers had a record-setting season in 2015-16, becoming the MSU career scoring leader with 1,817 career points, passing Liz Shimek’s 1,780 points from 2002-06. Powers also passed her own single-season scoring record with 697 points in a season, topping her 678 points last year.