Jones, Montgomery Added To USA Roster

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (March 3, 2010) – Two Connecticut Sun players are among a group of 12 who have been added to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team roster.

Veteran forward Asjha Jones and second-year point guard Renee Montgomery are now part of the pool of 20 players from which the 2010 USA World Championship Team and – should the United States qualify – the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected. Newly acquired Connecticut Sun guard Kara Lawson is also in the pool.

“Having an opportunity to be named to the USA National Team is very exciting,” said Jones, who is preparing to return for her seventh season with the Connecticut Sun, and her ninth season in the WNBA. “Throughout my career, I have worked extremely hard to become a more versatile player. My ability to play with my back to the basket or turn and face can create problems for potential opponents. I think I am an unselfish player who is willing to do what is needed to win.”

Montgomery, who averaged nine points per game as a rookie with the Minnesota Lynx in 2009, was acquired by the Connecticut Sun in a trade that sent Lindsay Whalen back to her home state.

“It means a lot for me to be named to the USA National Team pool because every since I was young I have watched the Olympics on TV and imagined myself playing on the USA team,” Montgomery said. “It's hard to believe that now it's an actual possibility with the USA National Team. It's truly a blessing…I already know that the USA National team is going to have people whose strengths are to score, rebound, shoot, defend, etc. What I feel I can bring to the team is energy and also fill in wherever else is needed.”

The other athletes added to the roster include Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (University of Connecticut), Shameka Christon (New York Liberty), Candice Dupree (Chicago Sky), Lindsey Harding (Washington Mystics), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx). Player selections were made by the five member USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee.

The athletes join previously announced USA National Team members and 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), Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury).

Many of the members from this pool of 20 are expected to be on hand at Mohegan Sun Arena on July 10th, when the 2010 WNBA All Star Game is played. The game will match a team of WNBA All Stars against the USA Basketball Women’s National Team.

As was the case over the last quadrennium, the USA team will be fluid and athletes will be added progressively to the USA National Team roster. It is expected that the official 12-member 2010 USA World Championship Team and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, should the USA qualify, will be comprised of players from the 2010-12 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 gold medals (1998, 2002), one FIBA World Championship bronze medal (2006) and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal (2007).

The Connecticut Sun will open its eighth season at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, May 15th by hosting the Chicago Sky at 3:30 p.m. Season tickets and mini-plans are on sale now, and can be reserved by calling a Sun Ticket Representative at 1.877.SUN.TIXX (786-8499) or by visiting www.connecticutsun.com.