U.S. To Begin World Championship Preparations In D.C.

Beard, Harding, Langhorne added to USA Womens National Team Training Camp Roster

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 22, 2009) -- Washington Mystics players Alana Beard, Lindsey Harding and Crystal Langhorne have been invited to participate in the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s fall training camp at American University in Washington, D.C.

Fourteen athletes who have been members of prior USA Basketball teams have accepted invitations to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s fall training camp as the U.S. begins preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. The 14 athletes will join the previously announced eight members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team at the squad’s fall training camp, scheduled for Sept. 30 – Oct. 5 at American University in Washington, D.C., in hopes of being added to the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team roster. Invitations to attend the USA training camp were made by the five member USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee. The eventual 12-member team that will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship is expected to be selected from the 2009-12 USA National Team.

Added to the USA training camp roster were: Jayne Appel (Stanford / Pleasant Hill, Calif.); Alana Beard (Washington Mystics); Swin Cash (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.); Shameka Christon (New York Liberty); Candice Dupree (Chicago Sky); Lindsey Harding (Washington Mystics); Ebony Hoffman (Indiana Fever); Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun); Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Maya Moore (Connecticut / Lawrenceville, Ga.); Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut Sun); and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx). The 14 USA National Team hopefuls includes a total of 12 who have previously aided U.S. teams to gold medals and six of whom were members of the 2007-08 USA Women’s National Team, including Beard, Cash, Jones, Harding, Whalen and Wiggins.

“I haven’t been as excited about anything I’ve done as I am excited about what I’m going to do in a couple of weeks,” said 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. “I think the players who have been invited that have accepted an invitation and are going to be there gives us an opportunity to see the best players in the world compete against each other. Not necessarily just to impress me or to try to make the team, but more importantly, the fact that they’re going to be there, that they want to be there, shows that they have a tremendous love for USA Basketball and how much it means for them to be on this team. In those five days that we’re together, they’re going to get to know me, I’m going to get to know them. This actually starts the process of putting the team together.”

Two-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); as well as ’08 gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) were named to the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team on Aug. 17.

Appel, Augustus, Lawson and Whalen are injured, however, they are expected to attend the training camp. Players involved in the WNBA Finals will not attend training camp. The USA’s training camp will be highlighted by the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Fall Showcase at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, Oct. 4. The USA Fall Showcase will include team drills, an intrasquad scrimmage, a question and answer session with Auriemma and a post-practice autograph session with selected players.

Tickets for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team 2009 Fall Showcase are $5.00 and available by calling 202-885-TIXX or online at www.AUeagles.com. Children six and under will be admitted free of charge.

“The fans coming to the USA Fall Showcase can expect to see some of the best players in the world, playing the game hopefully the way it’s always been meant to be played,” said Auriemma. “I think anyone who comes out there will be amazed at the intensity level that these women play at, the skill level that they have. I would say that if anyone has not seen these players play, they’re going to be amazed at the level of competition that’s going to be at the USA Basketball Fall Showcase.”

The U.S. will hold practices at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) at Bender Arena on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2 and 5, and will practice at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Oct. 3 at a site TBD. USA team practices are open to credentialed personnel only.

Following the six-day domestic training camp, selected players will travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where the USA will compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. In addition to the Russian professional team UMMC Ekaterinburg, also competing in the tournament will be Euroleague professional teams MKB Euroleasing Sopron from Hungary and USK Praha from the Czech Republic.

Auriemma will be assisted through the 2010 FIBA World Championship by DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno and Minnesota Lynx head coach Jennifer Gillom.

As was the case over the last quadrennium, the USA team will be fluid and athletes will be added progressively to the 2009-12 USA National Team. It is expected that the official 12-member 2010 USA World Championship and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify for the Olympics, will be comprised of players from the 2009-12 USA National Team.

In the past dozen years, the highly successful USA Basketball Women’s National Team program, ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA, has posted a 63-1 slate in major international competitions, winning four consecutive Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008), two FIBA World Championship golds (1998, 2002), one FIBA World Championship bronze medal (2006) and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal (2007).

The USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 23 – Oct. 3 in the Czech Republic); if necessary the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD); and if the USA qualifies, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (July 26-Aug. 12 in London, England), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.

The U.S. will first look to capture the title at the 16th FIBA World Championship, with an automatic berth to the 2012 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in ‘10, it would have two additional chances to qualify for the Olympics: the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament and 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).

The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee is comprised of WNBA representatives Reneé Brown, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations; Dan Hughes, head coach and General Manager of the San Antonio Silver Stars; and Chief Operating Officer/General Manager of the Indiana Fever Kelly Krauskopf; athlete representative and five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards; and USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan.

2009 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Fall Training Camp Roster

NAME POS HGT WGT DOB WNBA TEAM COLLEGE HOMETOWN
Jayne Appel C 6-4 210 05/14/88 n/a Stanford Pleasant Hill, CA
*Seimone Augustus F 6-1 179 04/30/84 Minnesota Lynx Louisiana State Baton Rouge, LA
Alana Beard G/F 5-11 160 05/14/82 Washington Mystics Duke Shreveport, LA
*Sue Bird G 5-9 150 10/16/80 Seattle Storm Connecticut Syosset, NY
Swin Cash F 6-1 162 09/22/79 Seattle Storm Connecticut McKeesport, PA
*Tamika Catchings F 6-0 166 07/21/79 Indiana Fever Tennessee Duncanville, TX
Tina Charles C 6-3 193 12/05/88 n/a Connecticut Jamaica, NY
Shameka Christon F 6-1 185 02/15/82 New York Liberty Arkansas Hot Springs, AR
Candice Dupree F 6-2 162 08/16/84 Chicago Sky Temple Tampa, FL
*Sylvia Fowles C 6-6 200 10/06/85 Chicago Sky Louisiana State Miami, FL
Lindsey Harding G 5-8 139 06/12/84 Washington Mystics Duke Houston, TX
Ebony Hoffman F 6-2 215 08/27/82 Indiana Fever USC Harbor City, CA
Asjha Jones F 6-3 196 08/01/80 Connecticut Sun Connecticut Piscataway, NJ
Crystal Langhorne F/C 6-2 190 10/27/86 Washington Mystics Maryland Willingboro, NJ
*Kara Lawson G 5-9 165 02/14/81 Sacramento Monarchs Tennessee Alexandria, VA
Angel McCoughtry F 6-1 160 09/10/86 Atlanta Dream Louisville Baltimore, MD
Maya Moore F 6-0 170 06/11/89 n/a Connecticut Lawrenceville, GA
*Candace Parker F/C/G 6-4 172 04/19/86 Los Angeles Sparks Tennessee Naperville, IL
*Cappie Pondexter G 5-9 160 01/07/83 Phoenix Mercury Rutgers Chicago, IL
*Diana Taurasi G/F 6-0 172 06/11/82 Phoenix Mercury Connecticut Chino, CA
Lindsay Whalen G 5-9 150 05/09/82 Connecticut Sun Minnesota Hutchinson, MN
Candice Wiggins G 5-11 154 02/14/87 Minnesota Lynx Stanford San Diego, CA

Head Coach: Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
Assistant Coach: Doug Bruno, DePaul University
Assistant Coach: Jennifer Gillom, Minnesota Lynx

*Members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team
NOTE: Players involved in the WNBA Finals are not expected to attend training camp.

2009 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Fall Training Camp Schedule

Washington, D.C.

Date Time Location Event
Sept. 30 10:00 a.m. Bender Arena, American University USA Practice
Oct. 1 10:00 a.m. Bender Arena, American University USA Practice
Oct. 2 10:00 a.m. Bender Arena, American University USA Practice
Oct. 3 10:00 a.m. TBD USA Practice
Oct. 4 12:00 p.m. Bender Arena, American University USA National Team Fall Showcase
Tickets for the USA National Team Fall Showcase are $5 and can be purchased online at www.AUeagles.com or by calling 202-885-TIXX
Oct. 5 10:00 a.m. Bender Arena, American University USA Practice

Note: All USA practices, with the exception of the Oct. 4 USA National Team Showcase, are open to credentialed personnel only.

UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational

Date Time Event
Oct. 8 TBD USA Practice
Oct. 9 5:00 p.m. USA - USK Praha
7:30 p.m. UMMC Ekaterinburg – Euroleasing Sopron
Oct. 10 5:00 p.m. USA – Euroleasing Sopron
7:00 p.m. UMMC Ekaterinburg - USK Praha
Oct. 11 5:00 p.m. USK Praha – Euroleasing Sopron
7:00 p.m. UMMC Ekaterinburg – USA

All times listed are local. Ekaterinburg, Russia, is +10 hours from EDT.