After leading the Hoosiers on an improbable run to the Elite Eight for the first time to punctuate the continued success of the IU women’s basketball program, junior guard Grace Berger made some history of her own.
Berger was one of 20 college players to have accepted an invitation last week to compete for a spot on the 2021 USA Women’s Basketball AmeriCup Team roster from Sunday to Wednesday at University of South Carolina. Wednesday night, she was named one of 13 finalists to make the team coached by Hall of Fame player and coach Dawn Staley.
The finalists return for a training camp June 1 to solidify the 12-player team that will represent the United States this summer in the 2021 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tournament runs June 11-19, and the top four teams clinch spots in a qualifying tournament for the 2022 FIBA World Cup in Australia.
Berger is familiar with some of her potential teammates, including Maryland guards Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller, Northwestern guard Veronica Burton and Michigan forward Naz Hillmon. At the 2019 Paradise Jam, Berger faced both South Carolina guard Destanni Hednerson and Baylor University forward NaLyssa Smith. University of Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard helped drop IU to 2-1 on December 6 and North Carolina State University center Elissa Cunane lost to Berger and the Hoosiers 73-70 in the Sweet 16.
She first gained attention after recording three triple-doubles to lead the country this regular season and received even more national recognition when she averaged 16 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game across IU’s tournament run.
“When you watch Grace, there are a few things that you figure out quickly,” head coach Teri Moren said March 24 after IU’s second-round win over Belmont University. “One, she is an exceptional ball handler. Two, that she is exceptional at midrange. The thing that I love the most about Grace Berger is how competitive she is.”