MSU women's basketball to represent USA

Mississippi State women's coach Vic Schaefer

For Starkville Daily News

This summer, the Mississippi State women's basketball team will trade the Maroon and White for the Red, White and Blue as the Bulldogs will represent the United States at the 30th Summer World University Games in Naples, Italy.

Mississippi State, the back-to-back NCAA National Finalist and 2018 Southeastern Conference champion who has posted a 126-22 record the last four years, was selected to represent USA Team by the United States International University Sports Federation.

“We are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent the United States of America and all that means,” Bulldog head coach Vic Schaefer said. “We will do our very best to take advantage of that opportunity and represent this great country in the most positive way possible. We are going to go over there and compete for a gold medal.”

The event begins with the opening ceremony on July 3. The basketball portion of the event also begins that day and runs through July 12.

Representing USA Team, MSU will be one of 16 women’s basketball nations competing in the event.

State will play three pool play games, and the top two teams in each pool advance to the medal rounds. The remaining teams will play consolation games. Pools will be announced at the Head of Delegation meetings in April.

The World University Games are organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The event, which features 18 sports, is open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 24 who are currently or have been in the past year a student at a college or university.

MSU will be the third full team from a women’s college program to represent USA Team in the event. Maryland played in the 2017 event, while Charlotte and a Big 12 Conference-fielded team competed in the 2007 and 2003 events, respectively.

It will mark the second-straight year Schaefer’s squad has traveled to Italy after going 3-0 in contests in Rome, Florence and Como.