Barry to Coach U.S. Junior Team

CU women's basketball coach <b>Ceal Barry</b> has been named head coach of the 2004 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team. Barry, no stranger to Olympic basketball, served as an assistant on the 1996 U.S. Olympic squad which played to a perfect 8-0 record and won the Gold.

"I'm excited about this," Barry said. "This particular junior team will be a challenge. I've got a great staff and I know we have a tremendous pool of players to choose from. That will be the first step towards qualifying to play in the (FIBA Junior) World Championship."

Georgia State's Lea Henry and Florida's Carolyn Peck join Barry's staff as assistants.

Trials to select the 18-and-under squad will be held June 20-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Finalists will regroup in Denver for training camp July 22-28, where the eventual 12-member team will be announced.

The 2004 USA Junior National Team will travel to Mayagquez, Puerto Rico, for the Aug. 4-8 FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament. The top three finishing teams will earn qualifying berths to the 2005 FIBA Junior World Championship, slated to be played in Tunisia in July.

"You're on foreign soil. You don't have your local referees, the language is different, the food is different," Barry explained about playing junior international basketball outside the states. "Those adjustments will be so different for this age group. Yet, the level of competition is much more serious than any tour that any of these kids may have taken overseas with a club team. One false move and you're out of the competition, you don't win the gold medal. We are going to have to impress upon them the level of intensity that it's going to take to compete for a gold medal."

Barry is the winningest coach in the history of Colorado Buffaloes athletics. She reached a pair of milestones during the 2003-04 season, notching her 400th victory at the helm of CU in Boulder on Nov. 28. Barry, who began her coaching career at Cincinnati, reached her 500th overall victory in CU's final home game of the season on Feb. 24.

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