Ex-Pony competing against three others for 12th roster spot
Former Havre standout Loree Payne is one of just three finalists for the final roster spot on the U.S. national team at the World University Games set to begin in late August.
The decision will come down to Payne, who was instrumental in the University of Washington's climb to the Elite Eight in this past year's NCAA national tournament, fellow Pac-10 player Lindsey Yamasaki of Stanford and Tamara Moore of Wisconsin.
"It's disappointing not making the team initially, but it's great to be able to come back and play an extra couple of days and just have them make a decision," Payne said.
The three players will attend a training camp Aug. 6-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the final roster cut to determine the 12th player on the team will be made at that time.
If selected, Payne said she is likely to play small forward on the team.
"Coach (Debbie) Ryan told us what to expect at a three position, and I'm just going to go out and work on those things that aren't maybe my strengths and just play my game," she said.
Ryan is also the head coach at the University of Virginia.
Payne said her performance at the recent tryout was "kind of up down. I just went out and played, and I got named to come back so I'm excited."
The World University Games will be held Aug. 22 to Sept. 1 in Beijing, China.
Prior to that event, the 12-member team will train Aug. 12-15 at a site that has yet to be determined. The squad will then depart for Beijing on Aug. 16.
The U.S. will play in Group B, which includes national teams from Canada, Ireland, Japan and South Africa.