Jenni Benningfield Named to 2003 USA Team 5/28/03
Benningfield One of 12 Players Selected to the US Pan American Games Team

Vanderbilt senior Jenni Benningfield (6-3, F, Louisville, Ky.) is one of 12 players selected to the 2003 USA Basketball Women’s Pan American Games Team. The USA Basketball Women’s Collegiate Committee announced the team following four days of trials featuring 58 of the nation’s top athletes. The team was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team Committee, chaired by University of Texas Senior Associate Athletics Director for Men’s and Women’s Athletics Chris Plonsky. Virginia’s Debbie Ryan is the head coach and will be assisted by Kathi Bennett of Indiana and Trina Patterson of Albany.

"I really think that this will be very beneficial to Jenni's basketball career," Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said. "This is a new experience for her and should help develop her game. I'm excited for her - it is quite an honor to be selected to that team from such a competitive field."

Benningfield is the Commodore’s leading returning scorer and rebounder. She was named to the All-SEC second team and earned associated Press All-America honorable mention honors after averaging 16.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. She helped lead the Commodores to a 22-10 record and their 16th NCAA appearance. She was second on the team in field goal percentage with a 55.6 mark and led the team in points and rebounds in 14 games. She set a season-high in total points with 528 and is the 23rd Commodore to join the 1000-point club. She totals 1,068 points and is now 20th on that list. She numbered 11 double-double games last season and set a career high vs. Georgia with 29 points.

“It is incredible to have the opportunity to wear USA on my jersey,” Benningfield said. “There was such stiff competition. Every game - every possession was so intense - it definitely makes you want to reach another level. It was a great experience and I know it has made me a better person and player.”

The US Pan American team will begin training in Boston, Mass., July 17, where they will join the USA, Australia and Brazil Young Women national players for a series of practice games. The team then travels to Cuba on July 21 for a trio of exhibition contests against Cuba’s Pan Am team. The team returns to the United States to train July 26-29 at the University of South Florida before Pan Am Games play begins August 2 in Santo Domingo.

For more information about USA Basketball, visit http://www.usabasketball.com

2003 USA Women’s Pan America Games Team

Jenni Benningfield Vanderbilt
Rebekkah Brunson Georgetown
Jamie Carey Texas
Roneeka Hodges Tranferring from LSU
Laurie Koehn Kansas State
Janel McCarville Minnesota
Loree Moore Tennessee
Nicole Powell Stanford
Ann Strother Connecticut
Lindsay Taylor Santa Barbara
Iciss Tillis Duke
Barbara Turner Connecticut


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