Turner Thorne leads Team USA to gold
ASU Women’s Basketball Coach Charli Turner-Thorne has had a golden summer. As coach of the USA Women's World University Games Team, she led her team to an undefeated, gold medal winning performance.
The USA team defeated Russia 83-64 (6-1 in the University Games) to capture the gold medal. The 2009 women's basketball competition took place July 1-11 in Belgrade, Serbia.
"I'm really proud of this team," says Turner Thorne. "They stayed tough, kept working hard. These are some of the best college players in the country, and they showed it.
“For these young ladies to come together in a couple of weeks, be so responsive to what we asked them to do as coaches, to give everything they have for their country, that was awesome."
The World University Games is a multi-sport competition organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
Trials to select finalists for the 2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team were held in May at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The selected team members gathered June 18 for training camp and trained in Colorado until departing for Belgrade June 25.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 15 World University Games tournaments and collected a record seven golds, six silvers and one bronze medal. Since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled an 89-15 record.
The winningest coach in ASU history and No. 4 in the Pacific-10 Conference in career wins, Turner Thorne returned to USA Basketball in her first head coach position. In 2007 she traveled to Moscow, Russia, as an assistant coach with the 2007 USA Women's Under 21 National Team and helped the USA to an 8-0 record and gold medal.
Turner Thorne was assisted on the USA sideline by Suzy Merchant of Michigan State University and Julie Rousseau of Pepperdine University.