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LI Lutheran’s Celeste Taylor named to USA Basketball U17 team

Long Island Lutheran's Celeste Taylor goes up for

Long Island Lutheran's Celeste Taylor goes up for the basket against Franklin High School on Jan. 6, 2018. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Celeste Taylor, a standout on the Long Island Lutheran girls basketball team and a native of Valley Stream, was named to the USA Basketball U17 team on Wednesday night.

The U.S. will compete in the FIBA U17 World Cup from July 21-29 in Minsk, Belarus.

Taylor, a junior named Newsday’s All-Long Island Player of the Year in 2018, was one of 12 named to the roster after trials were held May 24-28 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trials started with 158 players.

“I’m really excited — thrilled with the 12 the committee selected,” U.S. head coach Carla Berube said in a release. “I think it’s a great combination of players that complement each other really well. I’m excited to get back here in July and get to work and get us prepared to win the gold in Belarus.”

Taylor also was a member of last summer’s U.S. team that won gold in the FIBA U16 World Cup. Taylor started all five games for the U.S.

One of Long Island’s top players, Taylor, a 5-10 wing, used her top-flight athleticism last season to average 23.8 points and 4.5 steals per game for Long Island Lutheran. She has verbally committed to Texas.

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