WNBA Select Team to Play in FIBA Women's World Cup

NEW YORK, Sept. 12 -- A ‘WNBA Select’ team of young WNBA stars will travel to Samara, Russia, to compete in the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2003 from October 14-19, the WNBA announced today. The team is composed primarily of WNBA first and second year players who have already made a significant impact on their teams and in the league.

This is the first time FIBA has organized a Women’s World Cup, which is designed to bring together the world’s top women’s club teams. The October tournament will serve as a test competition for the event, which is expected to be conducted as a two-round tournament in the spring and fall of each year beginning in 2004.

"We are honored to have been invited by FIBA to participate in this historic tournament," said WNBA President Val Ackerman. "The competition will be very strong, with WNBA players competing on the rosters of many of the participating teams, and the event will only highlight how global and far-reaching the women’s game has become."

Other teams competing in the tournament include the Korea Basketball League Champion, Canberra Capitals from Australia, Russian team UMMC Ekaterinbourg, Sao Paulo FC from Brazil, USVO Valenciennes from France, Mambas de Mozambique, and the hometown team, Volgaburmash-SGAU Samara. Lauren Jackson and Kamila Vodichkova of the Seattle Storm, DeLisha Milton and Mwadi Mabika of the Los Angeles Sparks, Yolanda Griffith of the Sacramento Monarchs, Swin Cash of the Detroit Shock, Chamique Holdsclaw of the Washington Mystics and Allison Feaster of the Charlotte Sting are among the WNBA players expected to play for the international teams.

The ‘WNBA Select’ team will be led by All-Stars Marie Ferdinand, NikkiTeasley, Adrian Williams and Cheryl Ford, who is also the 2003 Rookie of the Year, and the league’s Most Improved Player in 2003, Michelle Snow. The complete ‘WNBA Select’ roster follows.

‘WNBA SELECT’ TEAM ROSTER

PlayerPositionTeamYearWNBA College
Coretta BrownGuardIndianaRookieNorth Carolina ’03
Kara LawsonGuardSacramentoRookieTennessee ’03
K.B. SharpGuardNew YorkRookieCincinnati ’03
Nikki TeasleyGuardLos Angeles2nd YearNorth Carolina ’02
Marie FerdinandFowardSan Antonio3rd YearLSU ’01
Cheryl FordForwardDetroitRookieLouisiana Tech ’03
LaToya ThomasForwardClevelandRookieMississippi State ’03
Adrian WilliamsForwardPhoenix4th YearUSC ’00
Ruth RileyCenterDetroit3rd YearNotre Dame ’01
Michelle SnowCenterHouston2nd YearTennessee ’02

The ‘WNBA Select’ team will be led by Head Coach Michael Cooper and Assistant Coach Karleen Thompson, both of the two-time WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks. The team will practice at the New York Liberty practice facility in Tarrytown, New York, from October 8-11. Select games of the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2003 will be televised on NBA TV.

As the preeminent women’s sports league, the WNBA is the destination for the best women’s basketball players in the world. WNBA players, both American and international, are dominant forces in international basketball competitions, including the World Championships and Olympics. In 2003, 31 Olympians played in the WNBA. To follow all the action of the 2003 Women’s World Cup, tune-in to NBA TV or log-on to WNBA.com.