JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
PUEBLA, Mexico — Faith Academy of Marble Falls sophomore center Sedona Prince is ready to help the Team USA girls 16-and-under national team capture its fourth consecutive gold medal in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The Americans begin the tournament against Argentina at 6 p.m. June 24. The gold medal game is at 8 p.m. June 28. Go to fibaamericas.com to watch games live and follow statistics.
Prince, who is the team’s tallest player at 6 feet 7 inches, has spent the past two weeks at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her 11 teammates preparing for the tournament.
“I noticed I got better at outside shooting,” she said. “That’s the thing I was working on before I came here — weaknesses. I’m working on getting strong down low in the post and just being a more physical post.”
The center said she is getting better thanks to discovering more of her individual strengths and weaknesses. She also has enjoyed meeting different people from around the country and looks forward to meeting other international players.
The Lady Flame said the practices for the national team are different than any in which she has participated at Faith Academy or with her select team.
“It’s a lot faster, a lot harder,” she said. “In Colorado, it’s very hard to breathe (due to elevation). It got me in very good shape. It’s a faster game and a high-level game.”
A typical training day consisted of waking up early, eating a healthy breakfast followed by a practice. After lunch, an ice bath and a long break, it was back to the gym for another two-hour practice. Evenings consisted of dinner, visits to the training room if needed, and going to bed. In addition, the players spent time watching film of practices and have scrimmaged against a local Colorado Springs summer boys basketball team to get better.
“So not a lot of free time,” she said.
Prince said the experience of playing for the national team is one she’ll always treasure.
“It’s just awesome being here,” she said. “I love it so much. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My favorite part is the culture – coming here in Colorado, just going and being in places and training in high levels and seeing what the world is like.”