June 30, 1999
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Former University of Notre Dame women's basketball standouts Beth Morgan (now Cunningham) and Katyrna Gaither have been named to the 12-member 1999 USA Pan American Games Women's Basketball Team. The women's competition at the Pan American Games will take place July 30-August 8 in Winnipeg, Canada. The multi-sport competition is held ever four years and open to athletes from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
The U.S. women's team will train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. from July 16-22, then will train in Chicago, Ill., with the Slovakian Women's National Team from July 23-26 before heading to Winnipeg on July 28.
Morgan and Gaither, who finished their careers first and second on the all-time career Irish scoring lists, led Notre Dame to its only Final Four appearance in 1997 as the Irish produced a 31-7 record (the most wins in school history) during the 1996-97 campaign. Both played in the now defunct American Basketball League (ABL) following graduation. Morgan was a member of the Philadelphia Rage, while Gaither was on the roster of the San Jose Lasers.
This will be the second stint for both players with the USA Women's Basketball program. Both were part of the 1997 USA World Championship Qualifying Tournament Team that collected the silver medal and earned the U.S. a qualifying spot for the 1998 FIBA World Championships. Morgan also was a member of the '97 World University Games team which captured the gold medal in Italy.
Morgan ended her Irish career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,322 points and a career scoring average of 18.6 ppg. Gaither finished second on the career scoring and rebounding lists at Notre Dame as she netted 2,126 points and 986 rebounds. She averaged 16.6 points and 7.7 rebounds during her four-year career.
The U.S. has medaled in every Pan American Games since 1955, earning six gold medals, three silvers and one bronze in 10 competitions and has compiled an overall 58-6 record. Last capturing the gold in 1987, the U.S. finished with the bronze in 1991. The '95 Pan American Games women's basketball competition was canceled because not enough teams entered.