NEW YORK, August 13 – Today the IOC officially posted complete rosters for each of the 12 women’s basketball teams competing in the Summer Olympic Games. The WNBA is heavily represented with 42 current and former WNBA players among those who will go for the gold beginning Saturday, August 14.

Each of the 12 members of the U.S. Olympic Team currently play in the WNBA, led by two-time Olympic gold medalists Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks), Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets) and Dawn Staley (Charlotte Sting). And, team captains from each of the United States teams competing in Athens chose Staley to carry the U.S. flag for the American delegation in today’s Opening Ceremonies.

The Australian Olympic Team features six current or former WNBA players, led by reigning WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm) and 2002 WNBA All-Star Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury).

New York Liberty forward Elena Baranova (New York Liberty) is one of three members of the Russian Olympic squad with WNBA experience, while Brazil boasts eight players with WNBA backgrounds, and Spain will compete with six former WNBA athletes.

Other countries with players with WNBA pedigrees include the Czech Republic (3), Nigeria (3) and New Zealand (1).

The 2004 WNBA Season begins anew on September 1. Ratings for ABC’s and ESPN2’s telecasts of WNBA games are up 14 and 16 percent respectively from a year ago. The season-opening telecast featuring the Phoenix Mercury at the Connecticut Sun was the highest rated WNBA game (regular season or playoffs) ever on ABC, and the July 11 telecast featuring the Mercury at the New York Liberty was the highest rated WNBA regular season game ever on ESPN2.

A complete list of Olympic basketball players with WNBA experience follows:

 
Player Team WNBA Years
Sue Bird United States 2002-present
Swin Cash United States 2002-present
Tamika Catchings United States 2001-present
Yolanda Griffith United States 1999-present
Shannon Johnson United States 1999-present
Lisa Leslie United States 1997-present
Ruth Riley United States 2001-present
Katie Smith United States 1999-present
Dawn Staley United States 1999-present
Sheryl Swoopes United States 1997-present
Diana Taurasi United States 2004-present
Tina Thompson United States 1997-present
     
Sandy Brondello Australia 1998-99, 2001-03
Trish Fallon Australia 1999, 2001
Kristi Harrower Australia 1998-99, 2001-03
Lauren Jackson Australia 2001-present
Rachael Sporn Australia 1998-99, 2001
Penny Taylor Australia 2001-present
     
Janeth Arcain Brazil 1997-2003
Helen Luz Brazil 2001-03
Iziane Marques Brazil 2002-03
Adianna Moises Pinto Brazil 2001-02
Alessandra Oliveira Brazil 1998-2001
Cintia Santos Brazil 2000-02
Kelly Santos Brazil 2001-02
Leila Sobral Brazil 1998
     
Romana Hamzova Czech Republic 2000
Zuzana Klimesova Czech Republic 2001
Michaela Pavlickova Czech Republic 2001, 2003
     
Megan Compain New Zealand 1997
     
Mactabene Amachree Nigeria 2001, 2003
Itoro Umoh Nigeria 2003
Mfon Udoka Nigeria 1998, 2003
Elena Baranova Russia 1997-99, 2001, 2003-present
Ilona Korstine Russia 2001
Maria Stepanova Russia 1998-2001
     
Elisa Aguilar Spain 2002
Elisabeth Cebrain Spain 1998
Marina Ferragut Spain 2000
Begona Garcia Spain 2002
Nuria Martinez Spain 2004
Amaya Valdemoro Spain 1998-2000