35 Current and Former WNBA Players to Compete in 2014 FIBA World Championship

-- First-Time Participants Griner, Ogwumike, and Sims Join Veterans Bird and Taurasi in Quest for Gold --

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2014 – The WNBA will have a significant presence at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, tipping off Saturday, Sept. 27. Thirty-five current and former WNBA players will be featured on rosters of 11 of the 16 participating countries, including Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.

In all, 21 current WNBA players will be in action, including 11 of the 12 members comprising the USA World Championship Team. The USA squad is led by the Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, the first four-time USA World Championship Team member, and the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, the reigning MVP of the 2014 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile and a three-time member of the USA’s World Championship squad. Both veterans were members of the USA’s gold-medal-winning teams at the 2002 and 2010 FIBA World Championships.

Nine other current WNBA stars will be representing the United States, including 2010 USA World Championship Team gold medalists Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Candice Dupree (Phoenix), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota), along with 2006 bronze medalist Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), and a trio of first-time participants – Brittney Griner (Phoenix), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), and Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock).

In addition to those playing for the U.S., there are 10 current WNBA players representing Australia, Brazil, France, Serbia, and Spain. Australia’s roster includes Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor of the 2014 WNBA champion Mercury, while Atlanta’s Nadia Colhado and Erika de Souza, and Minnesota’s Damiris Dantas will take to the court for Brazil. France will be represented by Atlanta’s Celine Dumerc and Los Angeles’ Sandrine Gruda, the Washington Mystics’ Jelena Milovanovic will suit up for Serbia, and New York’s Anna Cruz and Atlanta’s Sancho Lyttle will play for their home country of Spain.

Current WNBA rosters featuring multiple World Championship participants include Atlanta (5 – Colhado, de Souza, Dumerc, Lyttle, and McCoughtry), Phoenix (5 – Dupree, Griner, Phillips, Taurasi, and Taylor), Minnesota (4 – Augustus, Dantas, Moore, and Whalen), New York (2 – Charles and Cruz), and Los Angeles (2 – Gruda and Ogwumike).

Coaches at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women also carry WNBA pedigrees. Among those serving as assistants to Head Coach Geno Auriemma on the U.S. squad are Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, University of South Carolina Head Coach and WNBA All-Decade Team member Dawn Staley, and former Houston Comets and Cleveland Rockers star Jennifer Rizzotti.

NBA TV will televise up to five USA Basketball World Championship Team matchups during the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, beginning with a Group Phase matchup between the USA and China on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, all the games from Turkey will be carried by ESPN3/WatchESPN. The gold medal game, regardless of who is playing, will be televised by ESPN2.

The USA finished with a perfect 9-0 record and took home the gold in the last FIBA World Championship for Women held in the Czech Republic in 2010, and posted an 8-0 mark en route to a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

Current and Former WNBA Players in the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women

PlayerWC TeamCurrent/Last WNBA Team
Seimone Augustus*United StatesMinnesota Lynx
Miranda AyimCanadaTulsa Shock
Sue Bird*United StatesSeattle Storm
Tina Charles*United StatesNew York Liberty
Nadia Colhado*BrazilAtlanta Dream
Anna Cruz*SpainNew York Liberty
Damiris Dantas*BrazilMinnesota Lynx
Erika de Souza*BrazilAtlanta Dream
Silvia DominguezSpainSeattle Storm
Celine Dumerc*FranceAtlanta Dream
Candice Dupree*United StatesPhoenix Mercury
Emile GomisFranceNew York Liberty
Brittney Griner*United StatesPhoenix Mercury
Sandrine Gruda*FranceLos Angeles Sparks
Laura (Summerton) Hodges AustraliaConnecticut Sun
Rachel Jarry AustraliaMinnesota Lynx
Yelena Leuchanka BelarusAtlanta Dream
Sancho Lyttle*SpainAtlanta Dream
Nuria MartinezSpainMinnesota Lynx
Angel McCoughtry*United StatesAtlanta Dream
Jelena Milovanovic*SerbiaWashington Mystics
Leilani Mitchell AustraliaNew York Liberty
Maya Moore*United StatesMinnesota Lynx
Yuko Oga JapanPhoenix Mercury
Nnemkadi Ogwumike*United StatesLos Angeles Sparks
Erin Phillips*AustraliaPhoenix Mercury
Adriana PintoBrazilPhoenix Mercury
Odyssey Sims*United StatesTulsa Shock
Belinda Snell AustraliaSeattle Storm
Diana Taurasi*United StatesPhoenix Mercury
Penny Taylor*AustraliaPhoenix Mercury
Shona Thorburn Canada Seattle Storm
Jana Vesela Czech RepublicSeattle Storm
Lindsay Whalen*United StatesMinnesota Lynx
Nevriye YilmazTurkeySan Antonio Stars