Two Luther College women's basketball players, senior to be Claire Marburger and junior to be Laura Hamilton, have been selected to play on a USA D-3 Basketball All-Star Team that will travel to Brazil July 16-25. The 10-player USA D-3 all-star team is comprised of NCAA III basketball players from across the country.
“This is an outstanding group of basketball players that come from 12 different states and 14 different colleges and universities from across the United States," stated Rom Smith, Director of USA Sports Tours & Events. "We feel that we have some of the BEST of the BEST representing almost every Region in the country. These players have been high achievers both on the court and in the classroom. They represent everything good that the NCAA Division III institutions have to offer. ”
The team will be coached by Luther College Head Coach Amanda Bailey and Luther College Assistant Coach Tayler Jenks. Coach Bailey will begin her eighth season at the helm of the Norse basketball program during the 2018-19 campaign. She has compiled an overall record of 109-79 and was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Norse to the Iowa Conference Tournament championship. That same year, Luther advanced to the second round of the NCAA III National Tournament.
The USA D-3 Women’s Basketball Team will be touring with the USA D-3 Men's all-star team. They will begin their Brazil Tour 2018 in Orlando, Florida on July 16th and runs through July 25. After team orientation in Orlando the teams departs for Sao Paulo, Brazil. The teams will practice in the city of Jundiai, Sao Paulo on Tuesday, July 17. The USA D-3 Basketball Teams will play a doubleheader (Men & Women) on Wednesday, July 18 in the city of Jundiai, which is in the state of Sao Paulo. The Jundiai men & women are both U22 teams. On Thursday, July 19 the USA D-3 Teams will travel to the city of Sao Paulo and play teams from the Santa Andre Clube. The Santa Andre Women’s team is a top PRO team that plays in the First Division Professional League.
The USA D-3 Teams will then fly to Rio de Janeiro on Friday, June 20 and will play on Sunday, July 22 versus Queimados. The final games will take place on Monday, July 23 at Fluminese Clube in Rio. The teams will depart Brazil on Wednesday morning of July 25 and return to the USA at 6:00 p.m. that evening.
While in Brazil the teams will experience educational, cultural and social aspects of Brazilian life through city, school and sports club visits.
While in Rio the team will be staying on the famous Copacabana Beach and touring the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
The remainder of the team members includes Claire Cromer of Hanover College (Indiana); Madaline Homoly and Natalie Orr of Washington University (Missouri); Morgan Instone of Juniata College (Pennsylvania); Clarissa Perez of the University of La Verne (California); Kendall Rollins fro the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas); Hannah Spalding from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota); and Makana Stone of Whitman College (Washington).
Both Marburger and Hamilton were 2018 first team all-Iowa Conference selections. Marburger led the Norse in scoring with 487 points and rebounds with 199. She was ranked tied for fourth in the Iowa Conference averaging 17.6 points per game. She was also ranked eighth in rebounding (6.4 rpg).
Hamilton was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. She was also named first-team all-conference, as the Defensive Player of the Year is not honored as all-conference unless selected to the first or second team by the coaches. Hamilton finished the Iowa Conference scheduled ranked in four different statistical categories. She finished tied for the league lead in steals (3.1 spg), was second for assists (5.0 apg), 13th for scoring (10.9 ppg) and 11th for rebounding (5.8 rpg). She was the fourth leading scorer for the Norse producing 258 points. She led the team in assists with 104 and steals with 65.
The duo helped lead Luther to an overall record of 19-10 last year and a fourth consecutive appearance in the Iowa Conference Tournament championship game.