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Women’s Basketball: Linnae Harper added to USA Basketball Women’s Under-23 National Team roster

Ohio State then-redshirt junior Linnae Harper takes the ball up the court against Purdue in a Big Ten tournament semifinal game in Indianapolis. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station Manager

The USA Basketball Women’s Under-23 National Team added the second Buckeye to its roster when Ohio State redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper was selected as an injury replacement Saturday evening.

Harper joins Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell on the team, replacing South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson who will not play due to a groin strain. Harper and Mitchell are the only two Big Ten athletes on the roster.

The Ohio State duo spent the past week competing at the national team training camp along with 34 other players. Thursday afternoon, USA Basketball announced a roster of 12 players that would travel to Tokyo to take part in the Four Nations Tournament.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Harper said in a press release. “This past week was great for me, being able to play with the best players and coaches in the country. I’m very excited that I have the chance to compete and represent the USA again and play in Tokyo.”

This isn’t Harper’s first time playing in international competitions. Harper has earned six medals while playing for USA Basketball, including three gold medals in the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championship and 2011 FIBA Under-16 World Championship.

“We are excited to welcome Linnae, and I’ve got no doubt that she will pick things up quickly,” said Under-23 coach Jeff Walz, who also coaches at Louisville.

Last season for Ohio State, the 5-foot-8 guard averaged 8.4 points, five rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and was honored as the 2017 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year.

The United States will begin play against Australia Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m. On Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m., Harper and her team will face off against Canada before concluding with a game against Japan on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

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