The Journal Gazette
Friday, May 03, 2019 1:00 am

City native gets call to try out for Team USA

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Purdue guard and Homestead graduate Karissa McLaughlin has accepted an invitation to try out for the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Women's Basketball Team with the hope of competing with the team at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in August.

McLaughlin, the 2017 Indiana Miss Basketball, is one of 36 players who accepted an invitation to try out and one of just 12 sophomores to be invited. The trials will take place May 16-20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, under the watchful eye of Team USA coach Suzy Merchant, who will pare the roster down to 12 for the Games. Merchant is the head coach at Michigan State.

“It's an incredible opportunity to go out to Colorado and try out against an amazing list of student-athletes from across the country,” said McLaughlin, who in 2019 became the third Purdue sophomore ever to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. “I've always dreamed of being able to represent my country and have the chance to go compete for medals against the best players in the world, and the invitation to the trials gets me one step closer to achieving that.” 

McLaughlin will have some support at the trials in the form of Purdue coach Sharon Versyp, who is traveling to Colorado to support her point guard.

“It'll add a sense of comfort to have Coach (Versyp) there with me,” McLaughlin said. “She knows my game and what I'm capable of, so it'll help to have her there to push me and take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Versyp has consistently praised McLaughlin's work ethic in her two seasons at Purdue and has trusted her to carry a heavy load, keeping her on the court for more minutes than almost anyone else in the Big Ten.

“I'm thrilled for Karissa to have this opportunity,” Versyp said. “It's a tribute to the type of player she is and the work she puts in, and it will only make her and our program better as she brings this experience back to our team in 2019-20.”

If the 5-foot-7 guard makes the team, she'll return to Colorado Springs for training camp from July 25-Aug. 3 before the team departs for Lima.

Indiana guard Jaelynn Penn is also on the trials roster. Penn was second-team All-Big Ten as a sophomore after scoring 13.9 points per game for the Hoosiers. 

Note: Purdue men's basketball coach Matt Painter announced that Jahaad Proctor, a graduate transfer from High Point will be eligible to play immediately in 2019-20 and will have one season of eligibility remaining. He averaged 19.5 points per game for the Panthers in 2018-19 and also previously played at Iona.

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