L.D. Bell girls basketball standout Lexi Gordon was among almost 140 hopefuls to try out for the USA Basketball Women’s U-17 team last month.
It was the second consecutive year Gordon traveled to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in an attempt at making Team USA. Last summer, Gordon tried out for the U-16 squad as an applicant, whereas this year Gordon was an invited participant.
Unfortunately, the result was the same in both instances, with Gordon failing to secure one of only 12 final roster spots. Even though she went through the trials last year, Gordon didn’t feel that made things any more comfortable this time around.
“It was still difficult,” she explained. “Everyone came back better, so I felt a little comfortable but not too comfortable.”
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The players were put through plenty of drills, 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging. Gordon said things just didn’t seem to go her way during the tryout.
“Things just really weren’t clicking,” she said. “It was earlier than I got cut last year, so it hurt pretty bad. I knew most of [the other girls trying out]. Everybody is good; you just have to be better.”
The U-17 squad is now in Zaragoza, Spain, for the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship, while Gordon is at home focusing on AAU ball and getting ready for her senior season as a leader of the Lady Raiders.
“It doesn’t change the way I approach anything,” she said. “I got cut. I can’t dwell on it.”
Gordon has already committed to play college ball at perennial powerhouse Connecticut, which helps alleviate at least one distraction of being one of the top players in the area.
“It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders, because I don’t have to worry about visits and things like that during the school year,” Gordon said. “I can just focus on high school and high school basketball.”