Four Mercury Players Invited to USA Camp
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 26, 2013) Ė Including 13 Olympic and/or FIBA World Championship gold medalists, USA Basketball today announced the list of 33 athletes who have accepted an invitation to attend the 2013 USA Womenís National Team mini-camp Oct. 4-6 at the Cox Pavilion practice gym at the UNLV campus in Las Vegas. The camp will be used to identify players for the USA National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team will be selected. Invitations to attend the training camp were issued by the USA Basketball Womenís National Team Player Selection Committee.
Highlighting the returning veterans are three-time Olympic gold medalistsSue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalistsSeimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) and Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks); 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun),Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Further,Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), both of whom aided the USA to a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, are set to attend camp.
Also accepting invitations were:DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), Stefanie Dolson (University of Connecticut),Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks),Bria Hartley (University of Connecticut), Briann January (Indiana Fever),Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (University of Notre Dame), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut),Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars),Odyssey Sims (Baylor University), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut),Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky),Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars).
Athletes involved in the WNBA Finals will be unable to attend the training camp.
ďThe Committee did a great job of identifying players for this camp,Ē saidGeno Auriemma, 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. ďFirst, you have some who have helped us already win world championships and gold medals at the Olympics and those who certainly we need to take a look at to prepare for the future. Ideally you would love to have a team that is comprised of enough veteran leadership, enough young players with experience and enough young players who might be there for the first time. Within this group we have a mixture of all of those.
ďI think what the Committee did, which I think is interesting, there are a lot of young WNBA players who are on the list, and with an eye toward the future there are players who have excelled at the college level already and who have also excelled at USA Basketball at a young age, who three years from now, four years from now, are going to be WNBA players. So, itís great to get a head start to see where the future really lies. I think thatís one thing USA Basketball has always been great at, preparing for the future. This is another great example of that.Ē
The training camp marks the beginning of a new quadrennium for the USA Basketball Womenís National Team, which over the next four years will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 27 - Oct. 5 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey), and if the USA qualifies, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games (Aug. 5 - 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
Four prior USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year honorees are listed on the roster, highlighted by three-time honoree Taurasi (2006, 2010, 2012), as well as Augustus (2003), Charles (2009) and Stewart (2011).
The USA National Team training camp roster features 32 athletes who have competed for USA Basketball internationally at some point in their career and 17 members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Womenís National Team: Appel, Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Charles, Dupree, Fowles, Griner, Harding, McCoughtry, Moore, Parker, Pondexter, Taurasi, Vandersloot, Whalen and Young.
The list of invitees includes 10 of the last 12 No. 1 picks in the WNBA Draft: Griner (2013), Ogwumike (2012), Moore (2011), Charles (2010), McCoughtry (2009), Parker (2008), Harding (2007), Augustus (2006), Taurasi (2004) and Bird (2002); 13 All-WNBA selections: Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Charles, Delle Donne, Fowles, McCoughtry, Moore, Parker, Pondexter, Taurasi, Whalen and Young; and 19 WNBA All-Stars: Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Charles, Delle Donne, Dupree, Fowles, Griner, Johnson, McCoughtry, Moore, Ogwumike, Parker, Pondexter, Robinson, Taurasi, Vandersloot, Whalen and Young.
Six of the collegiate athletes invited already boast impressive international credentials. Dolson, who was injured in 2013 and unable to try out for the USA World University Games Team, won gold medals at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship; Hartley teamed up with Dolson in 2010 and 2011, and also captured gold medals at the 2012 FIBA 3x3 World Championship and 2013 World University Games; McBride was on the 2010 U18 squad; Mosqueda-Lewis won gold medals with four teams, including the 2009 USA U16 National, 2010 USA U17 World Championship, 2011 U19 World Championship and 2013 USA World University Games teams; Sims has a pair of gold medals from the 2011 and 2013 USA World University Games teams, earning World University Games Co-MVP honors in 2013; while Stewart is the youngest training camp participant, but owns the most international experience. Stewart captured gold at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship, listed on the all-tournament team at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship after leading the U.S. to gold, earned gold and MVP honors at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and most recently was named tournament MVP after earning gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship. Additionally, Stewart was the lone high school athlete on the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team and was named the 2011 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.
Members of the USA Basketball Womenís National Team Player Selection Committee include USA Basketball Womenís National Team DirectorCarol Callan; WNBA appointees Reneť Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations,Dan Hughes, San Antonio Silver Stars Head Coach and General Manager, and Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun Vice President and General Manager; and three-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Championship gold medalistKatie Smith, who played in nearly 200 games for USA Basketball from 1993-2008, and serves as the athlete representative.
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship has been contested essentially every four years since 1953, and the United States captured the first two gold medals before the Soviet domination of womenís basketball kicked-off at the 1959 World Championship. The former USSR put together a string of five straight golds (1959, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975), before the United States reclaimed gold in 1979. The Soviet Union in 1983 earned its final FIBA World Championship crown as the USA went on to capture five of the next six World Championships (1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2010). The only other nations to break into the gold medal column at this event are Australia in 2006, and Brazil, which defeated the USA in the 1994 semifinals and went on to take first that year.
The USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Championship play, while compiling an all-time 97-21 record at the event. In 2010, the most recent World Championship, the U.S. finished with a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal.
Already qualified for eight of the 16 World Championship slots are host Turkey, which also claimed bronze in the 2013 FIBA Europe Championship; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games; Spain (gold medalist), France (silver medalist), Serbia (fourth place), Belarus (fifth place) and Czech Republic (sixth place) from FIBA Europe; Australia (gold medalist) from FIBA Oceania; and eight additional teams to be determined through the remaining three FIBA zone qualifying tournaments in 2013 as follows: FIBA Africa (gold and silver medalists), FIBA Americas (gold, silver and bronze medalists) and FIBA Asia (gold, silver and bronze medalists).
The 17th FIBA World Championship format will feature a round-robin competition in preliminary round play with four groups comprised of four teams each. The
top two teams from each preliminary group advance to the Oct. 3 quarterfinals, with the winners competing in the Oct. 4 medal semifinals and the gold medal
game will be contested
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for menís and womenís basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 men and women players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball menís and womenís teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 264-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current menís and womenís champions in the Olympics; menís and womenís FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); menís and womenís FIBA U19 World Championship; menís and womenís FIBA U17 World Championships; menís and womenís U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; and FIBA 3x3 Womenís World Championship and FIBA 3x3 Womenís U18 World Championship. USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBAís world ranking categories, including combined, menís, womenís, boys and girls. USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBAís world ranking categories, including combined, menís, womenís, boys and girls.