De’Janae Boykin of C.H. Flowers, Amari Carter of St. John’s earn invites to U-16 national team trials

May 3, 2013

When a bulky brown envelope bearing the USA Basketball logo arrived at her Springdale home in late March, C.H. Flowers sophomore De’Janae Boykin guessed its contents right away.

C.H. Flowers sophomore De'Janae Boykin will head to U.S. U-16 national team tryouts in Colorado later this month. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post) C.H. Flowers sophomore De’Janae Boykin will head to U.S. U-16 national team tryouts in Colorado later this month. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

With the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship scheduled for June in Mexico, the organization had begun the process of selecting the players that will represent the United States. Boykin was one of 33 players to receive invitations to the U-16 national team trials, which will be held from May 23-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The exclusive list, officially announced on Thursday, also includes St. John’s sophomore Amari Carter.

“It means a lot to know that people recognize my hard work,” Boykin said by phone Thursday evening. “I’m excited to get out there.”

The invited players – picked by a national committee that included Flint Hill Coach Jody Patrick –  get their transportation paid to attend the tryout, but the process is open and at least another 100 players are expected to participate.

The team that will travel to Mexico for the biennial competition and play under Coach Sue Phillips of Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) is expected to be announced before the players head home on May 27. The United States took gold in the two previous FIBA Americas U-16 Championships.

Boykin believes her versatility set her apart to earn the invitation. Listed at 6-foot-2 with long arms, Boykin asked C.H. Flowers Coach Patrice Frazier-Watson to consider her a guard when she arrived at the Prince George’s County public school this season despite being the tallest player on the team.

Boykin did a little bit of everything in leading the Jaguars to a berth in the Maryland 4A South final, scoring both inside and out to average 15.7 points per game. She’s been on the national radar for some time, picking up her first scholarship offer at age 12. She ranked No. 4 on ESPNW’s most recent national list of 2015 recruits.

“I’ll play any position you want me to play,” said Boykin, who split her freshman year between St. John’s and Riverdale Baptist. “It doesn’t matter to me. I think it will all work out because I can do so many different things.”

After the high school season ends, Boykin stays busy playing with the Boo Williams AAU program based in Hampton, Va. She’ll be joined in Colorado by teammate Taja Cole, a touted point guard from L.C. Bird in Chesterfield County.

Boykin has a laundry list of suitors, including Maryland, Virginia and Georgetown, locally. She made several unofficial trips during the basketball season to see a few of the nation’s top college teams in action, but recently, her AAU responsibilities have kept Boykin from making any additional visits.

St. John's Amari Carter goes in for an easy layup during the WCAC title game at Bender Arena in February. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) St. John’s Amari Carter goes in for an easy layup during the WCAC title game at Bender Arena in February. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

She has “Penn State, UConn, Wake Forest and many more” on her list to check out next.

Meantime, the 5-foot-8 Carter will be trying to make the national squad as a point guard. She was the third-leading scorer for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions, averaging 10.7 points. Overshadowed in the back court by All-Met Player of the Year Lindsay Allen, a U17 team member last year, Carter was nonetheless integral to the Cadets’ 33-1 record and was the only sophomore chosen to the league’s first, second or third all-conference teams, a group of 20 players.
Carter was second on the team with 20 three-pointers and shot 75.7 percent from the foul line. She scored a season-high 19 points in a Dec. 11 win over Good Counsel and equaled that total in the league championship win over the Falcons.
Staff writer Preston Williams contributed to this report.
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