2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
Additional Quotes >> USA 92, Australia 65

Additional Quotes >> USA 92, Australia 65

Aug. 23, 2008 - Beijing, China

Anne DonovanUSA head coach Anne Donovan
On the game:
I'd like to congratulate Jan and Australia as well. This is a match that I think everybody wanted to see happen for the gold medal. We know that Australia has risen and is probably our biggest rival … really proud of our team. Just defensively, that's what we talked about every game. We had to play it against Russia when we didn't shoot the ball well. I was pretty sure we'd shoot the ball better tonight. We did. We had to have the same kind of defensive focus and we did. So, so much credit goes to those 12 ladies in the locker room because in four weeks, what they've done … just their commitment to doing the dirty work and to really getting down and defensively getting stops … can't be prouder of that group. And again, in four weeks, it's a tough thing for a group to come together like they have.

On the team's start and their defense:
We were on task. They shot the ball poorly because of our defense. We gave them tough looks early. For us, we were so fired up. Our commitment was just to do what we've done all tournament and to enjoy every minute of it and you could tell the way we started that we were ready for that.

What does Lisa Leslie mean to the game of women's basketball?
Her legacy is just gold medal … nothing but gold medal … For her to finish tonight with such a bang in terms of her leadership and her production and her refusal to go home with anything less than gold medal, it speak volumes about her.

Can you put this team in historical context?
I'm not real good when you start comparing Olympic teams to Olympic teams and players to players. What I can tell you is that this team, I've never been around a group that is more selfless. There was never a question that the open player was going to get the ball and get the shot. There was never a question that they were committed to defending which was a problem for us at the World Championships. What I can tell you is that it's the best team in terms of their selflessness that I've ever been around.

Can you talk about Sylvia and Candace and the passing of the torch from Lisa to them?
In terms of passing the torch, I think first I'd like to say for Lisa to stick around for four Olympics and win four gold medals and thrive through the transition period of our younger players and still be our leader going into this gold medal game and performing as well as she did, I think that really speaks volumes for Lisa and her legacy here. But, Sylvia and Candace, two young guns that are like sponges that are just soaking up everything they can. And, they are, as you can see, more than ready to take the torch now and run with it. USA does a great job with their junior programs and developing a lot of young players at an early age. So, they both come to us with a lot of experience. And again, our depth. Just having them come off the bench, we don't lose anything. When we sub, we just haven't lost anything, not in this whole tournament.

What does the gold medal mean to you personally?
For me, I'm so proud to be sitting here and just to be in that locker room with those 12 and our staff. I've been involved with USA Basketball for over 30 years as a player, as a committee member, selection committee, coaches, this has been a huge part of my life for 30 years. Extremely proud to be sitting here.

After the 2006 World Championship, how much pressure did you feel to win here?
There was no more pressure on me than the pressure I put on myself. That was just extremely disappointing to be the leader of that team that came away with bronze. And to know that we were better than that and could be better than that, drove me every day since 2006. And fortunately, it drove those 12 ladies as well. I feel like we got a bit of redemption here. We played extremely good here for all eight games and finished it against Australia in the best way possible.

You were concerned about whether you could play well with the limited time together, how has this team overcome that and does this ease your mind that this can be done in the future?
It won't easy my mind. The only way it eases my mind is that I'm not coaching the team anymore so I can sleep at night now. Preparation for any coach … Jan, I totally empathize … We had four weeks, less than four weeks it's been. And, how we've overcome is just the commitment of those 12 women. And just the determination and the understanding that if we didn't do everything, if we didn't work really hard defensively, we weren't winning a gold medal. If I would have had to explain that or really kept drilling that in their heads, it would have been very difficult for us.

But, the fact that they all came in and understood the position we were in made these three and a half weeks of training really intense and very competitive. And, that they were selfless. It wasn't about who was on the stat sheet, who was in the press conference, it was about winning games and different players stepped up different nights. To me, that's the commitment level. But, this is not putting anyone's mind at ease.

Preparation is the name of the game.

Is it different to win the Olympics as a coach than as a player or assistant coach?
It's way different. There is so much more … I think there is a lot of pressure I put on myself for this and there is just a tremendous amount of satisfaction to know the last three years … there have been a lot of challenges … so this is a great way to go out.

Gail GoestenkorsUSA assistant coach Gail Goestenkors (University of Texas)
How are you feeling right now?
I'm just so proud of the team, so proud. We haven't had a long time to practice together but we feel like we're family. We've been through a lot together, all the way back to the (2006 FIBA) World Championship, having lost there. It left a bitter taste in our mouths. We were so focused on this particular game. We knew what we had to do to get here to this point. Tonight you saw the ultimate team effort because you had two starters in foul trouble and we have subs that come in and really propel us into a great halftime lead. It was a great mixture of young players, of experienced players, and they all came together for one common goal and there's nothing better than that.

On her overall 2008 Olympic experience:
Having the opportunity and privilege to win two gold medals is pretty remarkable. I feel very blessed and so honored to be a part of this experience and this team.

What does this performance say about the future of USA Basketball?
The future is in great hands. Obviously with the young players that we have, they played an integral role tonight. This was an unbelievable experience for them. Now they can come back and be leaders for our next squad.

Dawn StaleyUSA assistant coach Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina)
You've won three gold medals as a player and now you're part of the coaching staff for another gold medal. Is this any different?
No, they're all gold medals. Anytime you can represent your country and win a gold medal, they all feel the same. Whether you're a coach, a player, a staff member, support staff, I think everybody contributes to it.

This team has been through a lot over the last three years with the loss in the semifinal of the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the training time:
We got a little revenge back from Russia and also from the team that was laughing at us while Russia was beating us. I think it's always great to be on top. I think our players proved throughout the two years since the (FIBA) World Championship that the title is ours and they went out and played that way.

What does this say about the future of USA Basketball, looking at the performance of some of the younger players?
The future is here. This was a transitional Olympics for us. Now that our young players have some experience under their belts, it's gold medal city from here on out.

Mike ThibaultUSA assistant coach Mike Thibault (Connecticut Sun)
On the team's defense:
We've had up and down spots in games, but Anne preached from the very first day we met at Stanford that if we were going to commit to winning a gold medal, they were going to have to be a great defensive team and other than that one little spell at the beginning of the third quarter, we maybe played out best defense when we most needed it. We made every shot contested for the most part and they've all bought in. The people on our team that aren't thought of as great defensive players became really good defensive players through the course of this. And, I'm really proud of them for that.

On what winning a gold medal means to him:
I don't even know if I can explain it because it's one of those things when you're growing up as a kid, you've never think you're going to be in this place. And certainly when I started out coaching, that wasn't on my list of things I thought I'd be getting to do. Now, at the ripe old age of 57, I get to celebrate this. It's awesome. It's absolutely awesome.

What about Lisa Leslie and what she's meant to this?
Her leadership has been terrific. I think tonight when we most needed her poise … when they were making that comeback, she made big buckets, had a blocked shot. She just did all the little things we needed from a veteran.

Seimone AugustusSeimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx)
How good does this feel?
Man it feels great! All the hard work we had to do and overcome everybody saying that we didn't have a whole lot of time together; how would the chemistry work; how would this work. Everything came together and it's amazing. I don't have any words on how I feel right now.

How satisfying is it not just to have won gold, but to have beaten Russia and Australia in the process?
It feels great. Russia is the team that knocked us out of the World Championship. Australia is always a competitive team and a team that always gives us competition, so what better way to get a gold medal than to go through two of the best teams in the world with some of the greatest athletes. I think this kind of put the icing on the cake for us.

Is there any better indication of how much depth and talent this team had than today when everybody was contributing?
Our depth is what helped us get through this tournament and helped us get those double digit wins, those 20, 30 point wins, just because other teams didn't have that rotation. We send in a full rotation when they are kind of relying of six and seven people to get them through a game. It was just exciting to see that everybody was able to come out and be productive and produce tonight.

Have you thought about what you're going to do with your gold medal?
I'm going to take it back to Minni (Minneapolis) and I know they are going to go crazy when I get back there, and then from there it's going home. My mom is really, really tight and secure with my trophies and things like that, so I know this is going in the safety box or safe or something like that.

Sue BirdSue Bird (Seattle Storm)
On winning gold:
This feels amazing. To be in Brazil two years ago playing for a bronze medal to where we are right now and in the way we won is incredible. I couldn't be happier right now, more proud of everyone on this team including the coaching staff and all the support staff. It's been an incredible month and this is a wonderful way to cap it off.

Obviously finishing third in the World Championship and then the last two years all the talk has been about how the rest of the world has caught up. How this is the Olympics to get the U.S. This is the Olympics to knock them off. Australia, you have Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, probably two of the best players in the world, in their prime. A lot of people talk about that. I think for Anne, there was a lot of pressure because we're still the U.S. and we're still supposed to win. But here we are, in a down year, going against a team that's, in an up year. I think Anne did a great job handling that. Her message was always clear and concise. She wanted us to play defense, she challenged us, we did that and I think that's why we had this outcome.

On the youth that's on the team:
That's what USA Basketball is all about, passing the torch. Your legacy starts with gold medals. You look at someone like Lisa, she has four. No one can ever take that away from her, she earned that. She is a major reason why basketball in the U.S., not just Olympic-wise, WNBA-wise in general is what it is today. With that being said, you look at their gold medals, but you also look at their legacy and how they pass the torch. For me, it was Dawn. For Lisa, she's been on Syl since day one. It's about leaving your legacy, not just with gold medals but with other things. All the players who might not be returning for the next Olympics have done that. We're in good hands.

How much hard work was this?
A lot. A lot. I can't even tell you how much. More so just the thinking about it. Especially after Brazil. It's been a long four years but an even longer two years, and like I said to be here right now is, words can't describe it.

How satisfying is it not just to have won gold, but to have beaten Russia and Australia in the process?
Those are two of the best teams in the world and we played very well. To not have the practice time that they did and to come here wiith only a month under our belt and do what we did, I think it speaks for itself.

What are you doing with your gold medal?
Same place as my other one, a place I do not tell.

On what Coach Donovan said before the game?
Take it, it's right there, take it.

About the team's depth.
This is a team where you sub and the level of play most times goes up. They come in with such energy. I though Kara Lawson was great tonight, in the first half she was hitting shots when we needed someone to hit shots. You can talk about Sylvia, Candace. Tamika Catchings to me was the difference maker. Every time she stepped on the floor something happened. It wasn't necessarily the things you might notice or things that might show up in a box score, but things got done and that's Tamika's game. We're just very well balanced. Everybody on this team has a role. Everybody fulfilled that role and tonight was kind of the coming together of all that. We were sitting on the bench as time was running off , it was unbelievable. I didn't feel like this in Athens (2004 Olympics). (Why?) I don't know. It was different, it was a close game, down to the wire, and all that stuff. This was like, we just " and Australia‘s a very good team and we won by what? 25 points, I'm not sure exactly. We played so well, I don't think we could have played better and on this stage, you just sit there and feel really fulfilled.

Talk about Anne as the coach?
She's been there, she's a player, she's been in gold medal games, she's won championships, she played overseas. If anyone knows what it's like to be where we are as players it's Anne. She just has a very good way of handling those relationships and kind of getting the best out of us because she knows what to expect before we even step on the court and she prepares us that way.

Tamika CatchingsTamika Catchings (Indiana Fever)
How good does this feel?
It feels really good. We all came out and of course the intensity was high before the game and throughout the game, all 40 minutes, everybody was focused and we wanted to come out and get this ‘W', get the gold baby!

How much does this mean having not won gold at the World Championship and dealing with that for two years.
Definitely a lot more satisfying coming out and going through the disappointment, but to be able to come out and redeem ourselves, this is the first time we've all be together this month, all 12 players, so I'm just excited that we could pull it out.

Was it even more satisfying having to beat Russia and having to beat Australia, going through the two best teams?
It is. Obviously Russia having knocked us out and us having to watch Australia and Russia play for gold in the World Championship. We came out here and we knew it was going to be tough, it definitely wasn't going to be easy, but we pulled through, all 12 of us.

Have you thought about what you're going to do with your gold medal?
Yeah, we've got another case from Nike, a big case, I'm going to put it in the trophy case.

Sylvia FowlesSylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky)
Did Anne give you any special motivation?
Everything that comes out of her mouth is very motivational, especially for the ones who've been here more than once. They know what it feels like, they know what it takes to go out there and win. We just jumped aboard with them, followed their energy, matched their intensity and went out there and tried to do things that they did.

You had a long chat with Lisa at the end. Did she say anything to you?
A lot of emotions were flowing through that part. She was very proud of me, I was very proud of her. She was telling me that I got better since we've been together and she loved the way that I worked. Half of that goes to her because I mind her and I try to model some of the things that she does. It was a very emotional time at that moment. We were just congratulating each other, letting each other know how happy we were.

What will Lisa Leslie most be remembered for in her long career?
A role model. The person that she is, not just on the court but off the court. The mother that is, the way she carries herself.

Do you feel that she's passing the torch to you?
She's going to be in my ear for the next few years. I'm going to make sure we keep in touch. It's handed off and I don't have any choice but to take it and run with it and make sure that we get things done as a team.

Do you see yourself and Candace Parker being the future of this team?
Most definitely. Lisa and Tina paved for us to get here. We appreciate everything that they've done to get us this far. I can definitely see us taking it to the next level.

Can you envision having four golds around your neck or are you looking for five?
I'm thinking about how long my body can carry me. I'm not counting. I'm going how long I can go.

That's pretty cool to see her with four golds around her neck:
That's is pretty sick just to see her get four and know that she's been around the USA team this long. She's admired by a lot of young women and I'm one of them.

Kara LawsonKara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs)
The bench all tournament has been great, tonight you guys are down by three and then the next thing you know you're up 15. You started it, Candace took over, what was it?
Twelve players, that's what we talked about from the beginning, having 12 strong players. No matter what we faced, whether it's foul trouble, which it was early for Diana and Katie, whether it's just somebody having an off night, having confidence in yourself and belief in yourself that you can come in and contribute, and then knowing that 11 other players when coach calls your name have confidence in you too. We just came out and were aggressive and we felt like our depth was what separated us.

We said that from the beginning and we just tried to continue to wear them down. I think that stretch in the first half, Catchings, Seimone, Sylvia, Candace, we talked about it on the bench and we came in and were able to stretch that lead out.

You spoke about how special it was to just make this team, now you put up a 15 spot in the gold medal game, describe how you're feeling.
I would have never guessed that. I mean I would have never guessed that I was ever the leading scorer for the gold medal game for the United States and win a gold medal. But I think that shows the unselfishness of our team. I think that shows the talent level we have. I don't think they were paying as much attention to me as they were other players on the defensive end and I just tried to be aggressive and try and bring a spark and bring energy, and I was just fortunate tonight I was able to help my team.

Talk about Lisa (Leslie), four gold medals, undefeated in her Olympic career:
It doesn't get any better than that and Lisa's been our leader from day one, helping us stay focused. The experience she brings every day in practice, talking to us about what to expect, especially having so many first timers this year, having so many first timers that played vital roles, the only thing we had to go off of is the veterans' words and she was unselfish and just helping the post players along. We wanted to give her the right way to go out. The champion she's been in her career she deserves to go out winning a gold medal.

Lisa LeslieLisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks)
On your feelings:
I'm just so overwhelmed right now; I'm probably going to sound really silly because it's really hard to put into words what we've been able to do in one month. I was just talking to Coach Donovan about how selfless and giving this USA team has been from day one. We've have really just worked hard and hung our hats on our defense and our pressure. Offensively, the ball found the open player every single time every time we come down the floor. It's just been awesome for me to experience this for the fourth time with such a great group. I feel so confident where USA Basketball is going to go in the future and just having an opportunity to play with this group of women and the way we just laid it out … we put it all out there on the floor every single time and we didn't leave anything for anybody else.
Every time we gave 100 percent and I'm just feel really grateful that we came out … I thought we were the team who played the best basketball this whole Olympics and we were the team who was deserving of the gold medal.

And, it was great to see that come to pass this evening.

Can you reflect on your final game with USA Basketball and what it means to you?
I've put on this uniform since I was in the 11th grade and had the wonderful opportunity to represent my country on a junior national team and then finally worked my way up to the national team and then the World Championships and then the Olympics. To just have the opportunity to play with so many great players over my career, it's really hard to just think of all of these medals just getting them alone. I didn't do that. Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain and Dawn Staley. I could name so many of my USA teammates that had a true impact on me and my progress as one of the younger players. As I over the years have now become the oldest player, I've just tried to do the exact same thing and giving back that information to Sylvia Fowles and Candace Parker to Cappie Pondexter. Even at the times when it wasn't going great for me as an individual, still staying positive and showing them that there are always ways to contribute and help out. So for USA Basketball, it's just been an honor to represent my country.

Obviously, now in my fourth Olympics to have four gold medals, it obviously shows a level of dominance that I've been able to participate in with so many great players. I would be shameful to try to take all the credit for myself when I've had so many awesome teammates. And so for me, I just pass that on to my teammates that will go on in the future to represent our country, it's just giving it 110 percent and never saving anything for later. And, I have no regrets.

Was there anything special about beating Australia tonight? Was that an extra factor?
When it comes to Australia, obviously we have this awesome rivalry going on for at least the last three Olympics that I can remember, probably four. I think what's great about it is that we always know that they're going to be the team we are going to face. I think they are the second-best team in the world. They play great basketball. They play fast basketball. They play an excellent style of defense and so when it was China versus Australia, and they were asking us about who do we want to play, and I'm like Australia. That's the only way this story's has to be written. We have to face Australia. To play them, we've come out and played some tough Olympic games, but we've always found a way to win. With that said, we still respect our opponent always but we don't fear anyone. I'm excited we got to play them again and for me, the victory is always sweet.

Where do you keep your medals and what provisions did you make to safeguard them while you're here?
I used to keep them in a safe deposit box until there were some reports in the U.S. that they started cleaning out people's safe deposit box so that I went and got them. Then, bringing them here, the people in China have been just awesome. They have been in my room, the people have cleaned and been just excellent. The hospitality … and I never had any fears that anything would happen to my medals here. Can't say enough about the people here of China … just what they stand for … their integrity has been just the best so I was never worried about them. Going back, yeah we'll move them around again. I'll probably put them back in a safe deposit box. I decided it would be great to bring them with it. My vision, my dream was to have four gold medals around my neck by the time we finished our last game here in Beijing.

Milton-JonesDeLisha Milton-Jones (Los Angeles Sparks)
What does this gold medal means to you?
It means everything to me. Being in this situation is great sometimes and sometimes it's very humbling. I've learned a lot about myself and a lot about these young women I've played with over the past couple of weeks now. We've been fierce competitors for a long time now in the WNB A and in Europe as well. But to be on a team united for one thing, I've seen the trueness of each person. I've seen them be as loving and kind and considerate and team players that I've ever seen in my life. I was probably my lowest in my career coming off of the bench and sometimes not even seeing the floor. But they were such an inspiration to me and I'm just grateful to have them and to be able to share this moment with one of the best teams USA Basketball has ever put together.

Candace ParkerCandace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks)
On winning the gold medal:
I think I realized on the podium what a year it has been. I am so blessed to be here and it is truly special to share this with the other 11 girls on the team. We have all worked our entire lives to get to this moment. To experience this with this group, we just couldn't have had a better team.

What has Lisa Leslie meant to you?
She has meant a lot me, with her being my teammate on the Sparks and coming here and playing her last Olympics with her. She truly is a legend. I am just so happy that we were able to allow her to go out on top.

Is it nice to have a gold medal around your neck?
It is so nice. To be honest with you, I couldn't picture another color medal around my neck, everybody set their sights up and worked so hard for it and it's so great to say you're a Gold Medal winner.

Have you ever had more fun singing the national anthem?
I've never had more fun singing the national anthem. It's funny because I pictured myself on the podium singing the anthem with my hand on my heart. It was just a great feeling and to share it with this team, it was amazing.

Did the team defense make the difference tonight?
I think our defense really frustrates people and I think it's underestimated. The amount of pressure we put out front, the people we have in the lane waiting for people that penetrate makes a difference. We really wanted to focus on boxing out and rebounding and once we took care of that we were able to create our offense off of our defense.

In those final few seconds as the clock is ticking down, what is going through your mind?
Honestly, my heart was pounding, I just had a rush of emotions. I've dreamed of being there. It's truly the biggest stage in basketball. To be able to represent the United States of America and to wear a Gold Medal around your neck, I mean you're in history.

You guys are one of the most successful dynasties in the history of sports. Four straight gold medals, 33 straight wins in the Olympics. Why is this team so much better than everyone else?
Because we have people like Lisa Leslie, because we have people like Katie Smith who continue to give back to USA basketball. When you look at the number of repeat Gold medalists, that tells the story. We are able to absorb and take all their information for two, three years and then they pass the torch and then we give back. That's what USA Basketball is about.

Cappie PondexterCappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury)
How does it feel to win the Gold?
It feels awesome. We worked hard for the last two years, ever since Russia beat us in the World Championship. It finally feels good to actually say we worked so hard and now we're here. Wearing the gold medal.

You've been with USA Basketball since you were 16. A lot of practices, a lot of hard work. Does that make it sweeter?
I've been playing for USA Basketball since I was 16. It's been a long time. I'm 25 now. It's been a long road. This is my first one and hopefully I can get more. I'm just happy for this team. We worked extremely hard, we played together--all 12 of us--and we stayed together, so now we won a Gold Medal together.

What abour Lisa Leslie winning her fourth consecutive gold medal, a feat no other basketball player, male or female, has done?
It's amazing. It shows her character and the person she is. She's an incredible person, winner, mom--all that and I am really happy for her.

You aren't wearing your gold medal. Where is it?
I gave it to my mom, Vanessa.

Are you going to let her keep it?
I'll just let her get a little taste of it right now. But I have a home now, so I can put it in my house.

How special has the last couple of weeks been for you?
It's been great. It's been tremendous. 11 other women around. They've been wonderful, not only as basketball players, but as people. We've enjoyed one another on and off the court.. And to share this moment is great.

Katie SmithKatie Smith (Detroit Shock)
There are some very good young players on this team, even though you and Lisa are probably finished with your Olympic careers, is there any reason to think that there's going to be any kind of slip?
I hope not. If people give the time to come to the training camps and commit to it, I think this team will be here again and, hopefully, receive another Gold Medal. It's going to take a lot of work from here to then, but our post players are part of why we're successful and we have some geat young ones who learned a lot through this tournament from the vets. I am really excited about where they've come from this whole tournament.. I hope they continue it on with as much poise and pride as we all do.

There's a great history of tradition, of passing the baton with this team, isn't there?
There is. And that's what we all like. Lisa followed Katrina McClain. I watched Jennifer Azzi and Dawn Staley and I was with Swoopes. It's that whole tradition and transition. That's why us being committed to it shows them what it's about. It's not about scoring all the points, it's about winning a Gold Medal and being selfless. That's what it is. People taught us when we were the babies and now it's our turn to return the favor and let them know how important it is and how to handle themselves and go out there and compete.

But it is in good hands.

Three Olympics, three Golds. How does it feel?
I can handle that. I think it might be my last and I've had an awesome experience and I loved this one for the group of people we are playing with, the coaches, Carol Callan, you name the entire USA Basketball family. It's been a long time. I've been here since I was 18 and it's a lot of years.

All 3 Golds have come against the Australians. Any special satisfaction?
It feels good. It does. Obviously they are very competitive and have made their name. They won a World Championship we didn't get a chance to play them and we didn't take care of our end. When a team thinks they really can knock you off and to come out the way we did tonight, it was special It makes it feel even that much better.

You've had two knee surgeries. In 2004, it kept you from playing most of the games despite your efforts. Does this Gold give you a special sense of satisfaction given the countless hours of therapy and hard work to get back to this level?
There is, and I think it's your own personal thing to stay on top and coming back from injuries, only people who go through it understand how difficult it is. To play at this level and then to put yourself right back up there, especially at an older age, is hard. Obviously, I'm proud to be as consistent as I have been. In '04, yeah you'd love to contribute in the games, but I did contribute through all the trainings and to help get that team ready for where they are. But, yeah, this is great to finish it off and to contribute as much as I did, both on and off the floor. I love it.

Diana TaurasiDiana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)
Do you think you'd follow Lisa Leslie and go for four golds?
If I'm still alive and kicking I'll go for four. Why not? I've never been to London either so if they pick me I'll be ready to go.

Just to see Lisa with it, that's an inspiration to anyone who's been an Olympian and how hard it is. For her to do it, it really is something special.

Does this feel any better than your gold in 2004?
No, it's just different. Everything is different because there's a different set of people, coaches, countries, circumstances. Everything always feels different. We came into this with a mission. There's a certain feel that we had in the locker room where we had to prove ourselves again and I think we did a pretty good job of it.

Is there a good feeling after the loss in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, everything you've all done over the last two years, to now be back on top?
Yeah, it's been tough. I'm very happy it came around the right way. We have some great people on this team who have been working so hard. To put it together and for it to come together like that … it's just an amazing team.

On the team's depth and the youth:
That's the thing, it's passing the torch. Sue and I got to learn from Sheryl and Dawn (Staley) in 2004. Candace and Sylvia got to learn from Tina and Lisa. It's a beautiful thing when you can hand down those experiences and still be a part of it.

On her overall Olympic experience:
It was great. I don't think we could have done it with a better group of people. You can always talk about winning, but when you do it with a group that you like it means a lot more. This has been a great, great time for us.

On today's game:
Australia's a great team. They weren't going to ever stop. They went hard to the end.

Tina ThompsonTina Thompson (Houston Comets)
You've now won two gold medals. Does this feel any different from 2004?
The first one, I was really emotional. I'm a little overwhelmed now, but our team was so awesome. It may seem really cliché, but we expected it. We worked so hard. I think we have all the best players right now at this point in time on this team. Everyone that's here is supposed to be here so it's kind of one of those moments. This maybe déjà vu. We're at the right place at the right time, everything fell into place. It's supposed to be like this.

The first one is definitely No. 1 so this is probably 1.5! (laughs)

How great was it to be able to share this moment with your son, Dyllan?
Oh yeah. For Dyllan … and for my mom, this is the second gold medal for her. The first for Dyllan. Dyllan is an Olympic baby, so him being here is awesome.

On her overall Olympic experience:
It's been very focused. I didn't really get out much. I went to the Great Wall, which is amazing. I can't believe that's a man-made structure. I was totally overwhelmed by it. But I was here for one reason and that was to win a gold medal. We were on a mission. Because of that I didn't do very much sightseeing, I supported our men's team, we played really hard to get us in the gold medal game. We did it, we won it. My Olympic experience has been great, it's everything I expected it to be and everything I wanted it to be.

Was there any point in the game that you ever thought you were in trouble?
We came in with the mindset that we knew that this game was going to be tough. We didn't think it was going to be easy by any means. Australia is an awesome team. Even when it got tough, we felt that we were going to win it, that was our mindset coming in. We had prepared ourselves coming into the game. Being that we led for most of the game after we got the lead, we held it for most of the game, I don't think we felt that way at any point.