Head women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly salutes the crowd following the Cyclones' 75-69 win over No. 22 Kansas State. 

Making the USA Basketball Women’s Under 18 team is not an easy thing to do, but incoming Cyclones women’s basketball player Ashley Joens has done just that.

She will now compete for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City, Mexico from August 1 to August 7. The event is held every two years.

The USA Women’s U18 team has been dominant in this tournament, winning the last eight in a row as well as winning gold in 1988 and 2000. The team will look to clinch a qualifying berth in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup by winning the gold medal.

Joens was originally supposed to an alternate for the team, and would only make the team if one of the players got hurt or had to miss time due to other commitments. Joens, along with two other players, will fill in for three players who were originally selected to play for the team, but couldn’t make it due to school commitments.

Joens, a 6-foot guard from Iowa City High, averaged 30.7 points and 11.4 rebounds a game while shooting 61.8 percent from the field and 59.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. She was named Miss Iowa Basketball as well as Iowa’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

Joens will begin training with the team in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 20, before heading to Mexico City for the tournament.

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