2007-08 USA Women’s Senior National Team To Face Australia In Sept. 16 Exhibition Contest at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J.
Prior to the Trenton exhibition game, the USA team will gather in New York for a Sept. 7-12 training camp at John Jay College and then move to Philadelphia to train through Sept. 15 at Temple University.
Tickets for the USA versus Australia exhibition contest are priced starting at $10. Group discounts are also available for groups of 15 or more; please contact the Group Sales Department at 609-656-3399 for more information on group packages. Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 20 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) and will be available at the Sovereign Bank Arena box office, online at www.comcastTIX.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.
“This game against Australia, a very strong team that won the 2006 World Championship, will give us some great competition leading into the Olympic qualifying tournament in Chile,” said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan, a three-time Olympian as a player and an assistant coach with the gold medalist 2004 U.S. Olympic team. “It’s not only going to be a fantastic match-up for fans to watch, but it will aid in our final training before we go to Chile and try to win the gold and qualify for the Olympics.”
“I’m also personally excited about going back to New Jersey for this game,” added Donovan, who grew up in the Garden State. “I’m a Jersey Girl at heart, and I look forward to taking the USA National Team to my home state, where I know the stands will be filled with family and friends. I haven’t been on a Jersey basketball court in a very long time, so there’ll be a bit of nostalgia there for me as well.
“Having grown up in this area, I know how much support there is for girls’ and women’s basketball here, and we’re excited to be able to showcase the world’s top women’s national teams to fans in Mercer County,” said USA Basketball president Val Ackerman, a Pennington native and Hopewell Valley High School graduate.
“I think this will be a great opportunity for Temple to see our USA National Team play on our campus, and maybe the high-quality level of play from the USA team will leave an impression on the Temple players,” said USA assistant coach Dawn Staley, head coach at Temple. “I think this would be an incredible thing for me as well. It would allow me to do my duties at Temple during a time when I’m usually in some other country or city working from afar, and also to assist Anne and our U.S. National Team while we prepare for the qualifying tournament that could be our ticket to the Olympics.”
The U.S. team for the Sept. 16 exhibition contest will be comprised of members of the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team, which lists 22 players including eight Olympic gold medalists, six World Championship gold medalists and all 12 members of the bronze medalist 2006 USA World Championship Team.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith (Detroit Shock) were joined on the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medal podium by Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Detroit Shock), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Tina Thompson (Houston Comets); while DeLisha Milton-Jones (Washington Mystics) is a 2000 Olympic gold medalist. Additionally, Bird (2002), Catchings (2002), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles Sparks / 1998), Milton-Jones (1998, 2002), Smith (1998, 2002) and Swoopes (2002) all won golds at the FIBA World Championship; and Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Bird, Cash, Catchings, Cheryl Ford (Detroit Shock), Candace Parker (University of Tennessee), Smith, Michelle Snow (Houston Comets), Swoopes, Taurasi and Thompson were all on the 2006 USA World Championship Team.
In addition to the previously named Olympians and World Championship participants, members of the 2007-08 USA Senior National Team include: Jessica Davenport (New York Liberty), Katie Douglas (Connecticut Sun), Sylvia Fowles (Louisiana State University), Lindsey Harding (Minnesota Lynx), Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock), Courtney Paris (University of Oklahoma), Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury), and Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut Sun).
Following the WNBA season, the USA Women’s Senior National Team will reconvene Sept. 7 in New York to begin preparing for the FIBA Americas Championship 2007. Slated for Sept. 23-30 in Valdivia, Chile, not only is a gold medal on the line at the tournament, the winner also will receive a berth in the 2008 Olympics. In addition to the USA, teams participating in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship will be Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico. Should the United States not return home from Chile with the gold medal, there will be one final chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2008 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated for June 9-15 at a site TBD.
Donovan is being assisted by 2006 WNBA Coach of the Year Mike Thibault of the Connecticut Sun and collegiate head coaches Gail Goestenkors of the University of Texas and Staley.
Most recently, April 11-17, members of the USA team posted a 4-0 slate on its 2007 Tour of Italy against the Italian National Team, a pair of professional club teams and a Pomezia All-Star squad. Catchings finished as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.8 ppg. and 9.0 rpg., while Fowles added 10.3 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. And McWilliams-Franklin contributed 9.5 ppg. and 6.8 rpg.
Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com), which manages the Sovereign Bank Arena, is the fastest growing firm in the public assembly facility management field with more than 60 facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The Philadelphia-based company is part of one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies, Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League, Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, a regional sports programming network, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, and Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company and 3601 Creative Group, a full-service in-house advertising agency. In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor annually produces 10 nationally televised figure skating spectaculars on NBC.