COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 14, 2017) – Headlined by 13 Olympic and/or FIBA World Cup gold medalists, 29 athletes today were named to the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool, from which the 2018 USA World Cup Team is expected to be selected. The 2017-20 USA National Team pool was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.
The 29 members of the 2017-20 USA National Team roster announced today include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Napheesa Collier (Connecticut); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Asia Durr (Louisville); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut); Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun); and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
Additionally, in continuing its preparations for the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball and future USA Basketball Women’s National Team events, available members of the USA pool will participate in a minicamp Feb. 9-11, 2018, at the University of South Carolina. It will mark the second camp under the direction of Dawn Staley, 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team and South Carolina head coach.
“I’m incredibly pleased with the pool of players that make up the 29 and the different experiences that they bring to the team,” said Staley, whose Gamecocks currently are 9-1 and ranked No. 4/5 nationally (as of 12/14/17). “I’m looking forward to putting my stamp on this training camp, because it’s new, it’s different. Yet, you can give the 29 members of the pool anything to run, and they’re going to make you look good. We just have to get together to form some chemistry. Many of us have been together and worked together, just not in this capacity. So, anytime we can get the USA National Team together and work for a few days, it’s only going to benefit us in the long run.
“Anytime you can assemble the best players in our country together in one place, it always is an incredible thing. I think USA Basketball has done a great job of making things convenient for everyone in bringing people together in a place in which, I think everyone who comes will be pleasantly surprised at what Columbia has to offer and what our university has to offer. It’s a tremendous time that will be spent wisely, and it’ll be enjoyable.”
“This is a very talented group, from four-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, to the younger players who are hoping to compete in their first USA National Team competition,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team director and chair of the USA Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee. “As we looked toward the future, the committee first had to look at the past. We acknowledged that what has made the USA National Team program such a resounding success over the past two decades was the way our teams have seamlessly blended youth with veteran leadership. And because of that, we wanted to make sure we continued with that recipe in building a team. We can’t say enough about the veterans. We win simply because our best players want to play over and over again.
“We are happy to be able to take advantage of this time, and I want to thank the University of South Carolina for allowing us to train there in February. USA Basketball is blessed with an array of talent, but that means that our athletes are in demand around the world in many different professional leagues. But, that is also a challenge for us in that we need to be able to find small pockets of time to train in order to be fully prepared to defend the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Spain. We are hoping to be able to get together for another minicamp prior to the start of the WNBA season, where we will continue to prepare and hope to have even more athletes available. We appreciate everyone who is able to participate in our training camps as we feel it’s invaluable to everyone to become more familiar with Dawn’s style of coaching and continue to build on the team culture that has been one of the hallmarks of our success.”
As was the case over the past three quadrenniums, the 2017-20 USA National Team roster will be fluid. It is expected that the official, 12-member 2018 USA World Cup and 2020 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify to compete in Tokyo, will be comprised of players from the 2017-20 USA National Team.
The USA will train at 10 a.m. (EST) daily Feb. 9-11 at the Carolina Coliseum, and the final roster of minicamp participants will be announced at a later date.
Collegiate members of the 2017-20 USA squad, Collier, Durr, Kelsey Mitchell, Samuelson and Wilson, as well as those competing professionally in Asia, which currently includes Fowles, Loyd and Stewart, will be unavailable to participate in the camp.
All 29 athletes possess prior USA Basketball international experience. Combined, the athletes own 100 gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals in official junior and senior level five-on-five competitions, as well as seven gold medals in international 3×3 events. The list of USA National Team members is underscored by a total of 25 Olympic and 19 FIBA World Cup gold medals.