On March 30, 2021, Cardinal Newman student athlete Mary Ashley Groot, a sophomore, was selected to participate in the 2021 U16 National Team Trials held June 3-6. Only 20 athletes nationwide were sent the invitation issued by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee.
"Being selected to participate in the USA trials is one of the biggest honors a high school player can receive. Mary Ashley is without a doubt one of the top players in her class and can compete with the best of the best! Aside from her resilient work ethic & elite skill set, she is one of the most coachable players I've ever had the pleasure of working with, so I know that she's going to learn so much from this experience! We hope to see her name on that final roster; but regardless, I am extremely proud of her and beyond excited that she is being given this opportunity!” says Cardinal Newman Women's Basketball Coach, and former University of South Carolina standout, Asia Dozier.
This season, helping her team clench its third straight SCISA State Championship, Groot averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds a game. She was selected for the SCISA AAA Region 1 All Region Team, SCISA North/South All-Star Team, as well as the SCISA AAA State Tournament All-Tournament Team.
Groot is one of the top players in the country from the 2024 class, and has received more than 20 Division One offers including those from Clemson, Miami, Arizona and Michigan.
“Mary Ashely is an unbelievable young lady both on and off the court. This is an amazing opportunity for her and one that is well deserved!” says Will Eudy, Cardinal Newman Athletic Director.
Attendance for this year’s training camp will be limited to 30 athletes, comprised of the 20 invited athletes plus 10 more athletes selected via application, as determined by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee.
Training camp will include a variety of practices, scrimmages and friendly games, and the team of 12 will be selected on the third and final day. If selected for the team, Groot will go on to play in the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship held June 20th to June 27th in Santiago, Chile.
About Cardinal Newman: Cardinal Newman is a college preparatory Catholic school for 7th-12th grade students in Columbia, SC. Cardinal Newman is the oldest private high school in South Carolina, originating as Ursuline Academy in 1858. Cardinal Newman is a community that invites students to seek out truth, pursue academic excellence, grow as young women and men of integrity, work for justice, and lead through service to others. Every one of our young men and women is known by name and they find a place where their gifts are developed.