MAYAGUEZ, PUERTO RICO – Incoming Rutgers freshman Essence Carson (Paterson, NJ) and the U.S. Women’s Basketball Junior National Team won the gold medal at the FIBA Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, defeating host Puerto Rico 121-56 Aug. 8 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
With the victory, the Americans have earned a bid to the 2005 FIBA Junior World Championship, slated for next July in Tunisia.
Carson, a 5-11 guard, played in the first three games of the tournament, but missed the semifinals and final due to an injury. She averaged 8.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19.0 minutes per game, shooting 50.0 (8-16) percent from the field, 42.9 (3-7) percent from three-point range and 77.8 (7-9) percent from the free-throw line. A Parade, USA Today and Street & Smith’s All-American while playing at Eastside High School, she will begin her collegiate career “On the Banks” next month.
Carson’s involvement with the team, her first international appearance as a member of the USA Basketball program, marks the fifth straight year that Rutgers has been represented on the U.S. Junior National Team (Cappie Pondexter, 2000-2003).