SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Following a successful tryout at the beginning of the month, Oregon State women’s basketball junior guard Ali Gibson will make her international debut with the Puerto Rican National Team this weekend at an exhibition tournament in São Paulo, Brazil.
The three games will serve as a precursor to Gibson and Puerto Rico’s participation in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Xalapa, Mexico from September 21 to 29.
This weekend’s “Super Four” Tournament, which takes place in Brazil’s largest city, features matchups with the host Brazilians, Argentina and Canada. Puerto Rico opens the event with a game against Brazil on Friday at 4 p.m. PT. It will play Canada on Saturday at noon PT and will wrap up the tournament with a contest against Argentina on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. PT.
This will mark Gibson’s first participation in international competition since arriving at Oregon State. A native of Northern California, she is eligible to play for Puerto Rico because her mother, Janet, was born on the island while Gibson's grandfather was working there.
In the beginning of September, Puerto Rico will have another series of tune-ups against Argentina before the FIBA Americas Championships at the end of the month. In Mexico, Puerto Rico will be in Group B alongside Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Group A will consist of Canada, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela. The top three finishers out of the ten countries participating will earn spots at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.
Hamblin was a member of Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team for exhibition tournaments in Europe and China earlier this year, while Weisner dominated competition at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania in July, averaging 17.0 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists en route to making the All-Tournament Team.
Hanson is currently playing for Sweden at the U18 European Championships in Croatia.
Gibson has started every game in her two years for the Beavers, averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals. As a freshman in 2012, she earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention accolades, as voted on by Pac-12 coaches, and All-Freshman Team honors from the conference coaches and its media. She finished second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and her 56 3-pointers that year are eighth in single-season history at OSU.
As a sophomore in 2013, Gibson averaged 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in a team-high 30.1 minutes per game. She was 10th in the Pac-12 in steals and also ended the season tied for seventh all-time in Oregon State history in 3-point field goals made with 96.