Taurasi and Dupree Named to USA Basketball Roster
USA Basketball today announced the 12 international veterans who will represent the U.S. at the 2010 FIBA World Championship that will be held Sept. 23 – Oct. 3 in Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Included on the roster is Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and forward Candice Dupree. The player selections, made by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee, were announced following a two and a half-week training camp that included four exhibition games.
“We are very proud as an organization to have these two incredible players representing not only the Phoenix Mercury but the whole country,” President and General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale said. “Diana has been doing it a long time and it’s a great opportunity for Candice to be on the big stage. She is definitely worthy of the honor and will be a great asset to the team.”
Mercury forward Penny Taylor will also participate in the 10-day event playing for her native Australia.
Also named to the 2010 USA World Championship squad are two-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) and Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever); 2008 Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky); 2004 Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash (Seattle Storm); as well as top-tier international newcomers Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut), and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx).
In addition to their Olympic experience, Bird and Catchings have played in a pair of FIBA World Championships, winning gold in 2002 and bronze in 2006, while Taurasi was also on the 2006 USA World Championship squad; and each member of the USA team has won at least one gold medal on a previous USA Basketball team.
"The process has been unbelievably difficult. It's taken a lot out of us, the committee, coaches, staff," said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. "It was probably the most difficult time that I've had as a coach in 35 years. When you have to say goodbye to players as committed to USA Basketball as Kara (Lawson) and Seimone (Augustus) have been, it's very, very, very difficult. But there's so much uncertainty in our post players position that we had to make some very difficult decisions. I think the team that was picked is a terrific team. It's a terrific group of kids and the next nine games will give us an opportunity to prove that."
The USA tips off the World Championship against Greece on Sept. 23 at 9 a.m. Phoenix time and all of the USA's games will air live on NBA TV. The U.S. will play against Senegal on Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. and close out preliminary round play facing France on Sept. 25 at 6:15 a.m. Fans can also watch live streaming of all FIBA World Championship games at www.FIBATV.com.