2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11

Quotes >> 2014-16 USA Women's National Team Pool

January 13, 2014


Jayne Appel
Jayne Appel, San Antonio Silver Stars
What would it mean for you to get another chance to play in the FIBA World Championship and what do you think you need to do to earn a spot on this year's team?
It would be a great honor to play in the FIBA World Championship along with some of the other tremendous candidates in the USA pool. To even be considered and have the opportunity to represent our country is awesome. In order to make the final roster, certain roles on the team need to be filled, whatever that may be for me in the eyes of the committee is what I will try to give. Coming out, playing hard, and enjoying this process is something I always look forward to with USA Basketball.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 squad?
It will be an extremely difficult decision for the committee this year, just as it always is every year. As the talent in the game of women's basketball continues to grow, so does the competition for those 12 spots. While talent growth is a great thing for our game, it makes decisions like this only that much more difficult. The committee has always done a tremendous job at picking the right pieces for a gold medal winning team.

Seimone Augustus
Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx
You missed out on the 2010 FIBA World Championship due to injury. Even with two Olympic golds and two WNBA titles, you're missing that FIBA World Championship gold. What would it mean for you to be able to play in the 2014 FIBA World Championship to try and capture that title?
To play in the 2014 FIBA World Championship would mean a lot. It would mean I've overcome every struggle and obstacle that was placed in my way. I've grown both mentality and physically as a player, and am now presented with another potential opportunity to represent my country and accomplish something that I've never accomplished in my basketball career.

You've been playing for USA Basketball since 2003 -- and trying out for teams since 2001 -- what is it about playing for USA Basketball that keeps you coming back?
I keep coming back because I'm determined to be one of the greats in women's basketball, and in order to do so you have to be a part of USA Basketball. Itís the pinnacle of women's basketball, Itís where you come to play with and against the best players in the world. There is nowhere else in the world you can find competition that drives you to be better everyday. And the cherry on top is that we get to represent our country, with pride, dignity and class.

Sue Bird
Sue Bird, Seattle Storm
You started with the USA National Team in 2002 just out of college. What did you see from the collegiate players in the mix that made you think they're ready to be in the 2014-16 USA National Team pool?
All of them were extremely talented but also eager to learn. You could sense they really wanted to seize the opportunity of playing with the national team. The other thing I noticed was how poised they all were. It can be intimating at first, but none of them showed that.

How difficult is it for the committee to have to pare the list to 12 for the 2014 World Championship?
I don't envy the committee at all. The best and worst part about USA Basketball is the amount of talent out there. Just like previous years, I think it'll be extremely difficult for the committee to choose the final 12. Luckily, though, they seem to have it figured out. How many gold medals in a row has it been?

DeWanna Bonner

DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix Mercury
What would it mean to you to be selected to the 2014 USA World Championship Team?
Being selected to the 2014 World Championship Team would be quite an accomplishment. I've always set a goal to play at the highest level possible and playing on this team is definitely at the top. A lot of players strive for this opportunity, and to be selected to represent this country would definitely be an honor.

Seeing all the talent on the floor in Las Vegas, how difficult will it be for the committee to select this team?
There were so many great players in Las Vegas, the most talented and versatile players from college to professional. The competition that weekend was like no other. To have to pick a handful out of that group has to be very intense and difficult.

Tamika Catchings

Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
You first played for USA Basketball in 1996. What is it about playing for your country that makes you want to keep coming back?
The thing that keeps me coming back and wanting to play for my country is that this is the highest of highest levels in the world. It is such an honor to represent my country and to wear the USA across my chest. I believe the Olympics, and every aspect of playing on one of the USA teams is an important phase in the development of our country and our sport.

How hard do you think it'll be for the committee to pare down the list of players to just 12 for the 2014 World Championship Team?
I think that it will be really hard for the committee to pick the World Championship Team. There is a lot of up and coming talent, and it's going to be fun to watch as they excel on their current levels and when they get to the National Team.

Tina Charles
Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun
There is a lot of talent coming up through the USA Basketball pipeline, especially the six collegiate athletes who were in Las Vegas, all of whom were named to the pool. As someone who is just four years removed from being named to the USA National TEam as a college athlete, what did you see from them in Vegas that would make the committee feel they're ready to be in the USA National Team pool?
Those collegiate athletes showed a lot of heart. They were very attentive to detail as to what coach Auriemma and the rest of the staff expected from them. During play, they competed every possession and were eager to learn. For USA Basketball your role changes and you have to find that one thing that separates you from the rest. They all competed to do just that.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 USA World Championship Team?
It will be extremely difficult. As athletes, itís our job to make it difficult. Every year a player adds something to their game to make themselves better. It is noticeable every training camp.† But the committee always does a great job finding the right pieces to bring home a victory.

Elena Delle Donne
Elena Della Donne, Chicago Sky
What does it mean for you to be included among the nation's best athletes under consideration for the 2014 USA World Championship Team?
It is an incredible honor to be included among the nations best athletes for consideration for the 2014 USA World Championship Team. When I consider the women that are also in this pool, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. To me, there is no greater honor than being able to represent my country in competition.

Since you're not playing overseas during the WNBA off-season, what are you doing to stay sharp, basketball-wise, in order to be best prepared to earn a spot on the USA team next year?
I am placing a major focus this off-season on getting stronger and improving my skills on the court. After playing my rookie season I was able to pin point my areas of improvement and am now using this time to get better. I am spending a great deal of time in the weight room and on the court with my trainers improving my strength and my game.

Stefanie Dolson
Stefanie Dolson, University of Connecticut
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players, not just players in your age group, named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
It means the world to me. For me to be selected out of everyone in the country is something I did not expect a few years back. Itís proved to myself that all the hard work has paid off, and being selected for the next step is just unexplainable. Itís an awesome feeling, and Iím completely honored to be selected among these women.

Do you feel that this has made all the hours you put in with USA Basketball on the court worth it?
Yeah it makes it worth it. All the extra hours all of us put in and traveling with USA Basketball for so many years makes it all worth it. Itís always a cool experience to be a part of USA Basketball, so Iím happy to take this next step.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
This is something that I have always wanted to do. I donít know that I always thought it would really happen, but after putting in all the hard work here at UConn and doing the same with USA Basketball, Iíve grown and improved so much. Itís really just awesome to be a part of this.

Candice Dupree
Candice Dupree, Phoenix Mercury
What would it mean for you to get another chance to play in the FIBA World Championship and what do you think you need to do to earn a spot on this year's team?
It's always an honor to be recognized by USA Basketball. As a member of the USA World Championship team in the past, I understand the significance of this tournament for our sport and our country, as well as, what the experience has done for me professionally.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 squad?
I'm sure the decision will be difficult with all of the veteran and up-and-coming talent. Not a bad problem to have!

Sylvia Fowles
Sylvia Fowles, Chicago Sky
There is a lot of talent coming up through the USA Basketball pipeline, especially the six collegiate athletes who were named to the pool. As someone who also was involved with the USA National Team as a college athlete, what did you see from them in Vegas that would make you think they're ready to be in the pool?
These six players have played on the highest platform and under the brightest lights on the collegiate level. Added with their prior USA Basketball experiences, I felt they demonstrated the ability to compete rather than to just participate, wqhich should put them right where they need to be in the eyes of the committee.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 USA World Championship Team?
I think the decision has got to be difficult every time the committee has to select a team, which is a testament to the depth of the talent pool the USA National Team has developed and maintained over the years. However, selecting a list of 12 ladies for the 2014 USA World Championship Team will be tough, because there is crazy talent at each position. That will make the committee's job an extreme challenge.

Lindsey Harding
Lindsey Harding, Los Angeles Sparks
What are you doing in the offseason to stay in top shape in order to be considered for the USA National Team?
Well if there is a good opportunity that opens up overseas then I will go. In the mean time I have been doing all different kinds of workouts. Being in Los Angeles in the winter is awesome because it's about 65 degrees every day. I like to go to the beach and run in the sand and do sand workouts, tons of agility and strength work, as well as getting in the gym doing skill work and playing pick up games.

You've been so close in the past, what would it mean if you were selected to represent USA Basketball at the 2014 World Championship?
Being apart of the national team through the years has been a blessing, but if I ever have the opportunity to represent my country it would be a dream come true.

Briann January
Briann January, Indiana Fever
What does it mean for you to be named to the USA National Team pool and be under consideration for the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic teams?
I am honored to be named to the USA National Team pool and given this opportunity. I've worked hard to get to this point in my career and have obtained many of my goals. However, there is much more I want to accomplish. This opportunity in particular has always been a dream of mine. Representing my country has long been a lifetime aspiration, and now I am getting a shot at it. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and excited for the next phase.

What would it mean if you were selected to represent USA Basketball at the 2014 World Championship?
It would mean the world to me if I were selected to represent USA Basketball at the 2014 World Championship. I would be extremely proud to represent this great country, and I would dedicate myself fully to maintaining the gold standard USA womenís basketball had established over the years.

Glory Johnson
Glory Johnson, Tulsa Shock
After playing on a couple of junior teams, what does it mean to you to be named to the USA National Team?
After playing on the junior national teams I valued as well as learned the meaning and importance of having USA across my chest. I learned that being a part of the USA team means that I am not just representing my family, my college, my WNBA team, but I am representing my country. That is an honor that is hard to describe and sum into words. It is truly a blessing to have this opportunity for I know that not everyone will get this chance. Knowing that I have been working extremely hard to get better and become the best athlete that I can be, and to be able to showcase that and bring that the USA team is a great accomplishment. To be able to help out in anyway that I can would be a very great thing for me.

Seeing all the talent on the floor in Las Vegas, how difficult will it be for the committee to select this team?
After my experience in Las Vegas, I now see how tough it can be to put this team together. The talent and experience that was there was really incredible. Each player that was there was living a part of their dream and wanting nothing more than for their dream to make the USA team to come true. It's going to be very difficult to put this team together, as we all know, but I know that it will be a great, well thought out team, with extremely talented players.

Kara Lawson
Kara Lawson, Connecticut Sun
What would it mean for you to be able to earn a spot on the 2014 USA World Championship Team, especially after coming so close four years ago?
At any point in your career if you have the opportunity to play with the USA National Team is a special honor.† I love competing with and being a part of the best collection of players in the world.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 squad?
USA Basketball is a dominant force because of the depth of talent. Players at this level are addicted to improving and reaching their potential. It gives the powers that be a lot of options.

Kayla McBride
Kayla McBride, University of Notre Dame
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players, not just players in your age group, named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
Being part of this group means so much. It's something you always think about, the opportunity to play with the best of the best, players like Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and so many others. To have had the chance to practice at the USA Basketball mini-camp was a blessing all to itself, but to be included with them as part of this player pool is humbling. It's also motivates you to work even harder with the eye on potentially reaching that goal one day soon.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
I've always wanted to represent my country, and it's definitely something I've dreamed about, going all the way back to when I was a teenager and I got my first USA Basketball camp invitation for the U18s before I even graduated high school. When you get that first taste of USA Basketball, and then winning a gold medal like we did with the U18s, you have that added hunger and desire to get back there again. It's something I'm aspiring to do, knowing that something like this might be possible in the near future.

Angel McCoughtry
Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream
What would it mean for you to get another chance to play in the FIBA World Championship, especially since it's being played in Turkey this year?
I would be honored to be able to play in the World Championship again, especially with it being in Turkey. It would feel like Iím playing at home.

What do you think you need to do to earn a spot on this year's team?
To earn a spot on this team I must continue to show growth and improvement in my game. Also, maturity as a leader.†††

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 USA World Championship Team?
I believe the committee has a harder time picking 12 players than any other women's basketball team in the world. Its great to have the amount of talent that we have in America but very hard knowing there are only 12 spots.

Maya Moore
Maya Moore, Minnestoa Lynx
How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 USA World Championship Team?
The decision is a tough one for the committee, as a generation of younger players are starting to show some great talent and potential.† If I know USA Basketball, the players that make the 12-person roster will demonstrate the best character, competitiveness, talent, unselfishness, and understanding of the game.† I'm excited and honored to be in the pool once again.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, University of Connecticut
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players, not just players in your age group, named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
It means a lot. Itís an honor to be among the greats of womenís basketball. To be put in a pool to possibly make that team is quite an opportunity.

Do you feel that this has made all the hours you put in with USA Basketball on the court worth it?
Definitely! All the time and effort that all of us have put in over the years with USA Basketball puts you in the best position to be among the names that are chosen for this opportunity.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
Ever since I started playing USA Basketball and getting a feel for the organization and seeing what itís all about, itís been a hope of mine to make the National Team. So, now being in the pool and getting closer to that goal is really cool.††

Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
What does it mean for you to be included among the nation's best athletes under consideration for the 2014 USA World Championship Team?
I honestly can't express how proud I am of myself. It's always been a dream of mine to be considered for one of the higest accomplishments in basketball. After years of taking each developing step as a player, from high school to college basketball to the WNBA, it's refreshing and exciting to know that all the work can show for something remarkable.

How difficult do you think it will be for the committee to pare down this list of talented athletes to just 12 for the 2014 team?
I think the committee's job is harder than those of the players and coaches. Itís never easy letting people go, especially if more than just 12 are qualified. But, whether a player is selected or not, I always know that they do a great job picking the best group to represent our country. In the end, it's a great problem to have.

Cappie Pondexter
Cappie Pondexter, New York Liberty
After narrowly missing a chance to represent in London, what does it mean for you to be named to the USA National Team pool and be under consideration for the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic teams? As a competitor itís always tough not to get chosen in a process of choosing the best team. Iím honored to still be given a chance to fulfill a lifetime dream of mine. Iím excited for the process and look forward to one day wearing that USA jersey again.

How difficult will it be for the committee to pare the list down to the final 12-member 2014 USA World Championship Team?
I've been through this process since I was 15. People think us athletes have it hard, but I believe the committee has it the hardest. Their job is difficult these days because there are so many talented players to choose from, but I'm more then confident they will put together the finest team to represent in the 2014 World Championship.

Danielle Robinson
Danielle Robinson, San Antonio Silver Stars
How does it feel to be named to the USA National Team pool?
It's such a blessing and an honor to be named to the USA National Team pool. Being able to wear USA across your chest and represent your country is a special opportunity, especially at the highest level. With so much talent, I'm really excited about being a part of such an amazing group.

Given all the competition during the training camp in Las Vegas, how difficult will it be for the committee to choose just 12 for the 2014 World Championship Team?
With so much talent across the board in the pool, I think it will be extremely difficult because we are all tough competitors that love to win; but I know that the committee will do a great job selecting the 12-member team.

How's the knee and do you anticipate heading overseas at all, or will you just spend the winter making sure you're 100 percent ready for the season?
My knee is great. I'm back to 100 percent and cleared to participate in everything. As far as overseas, I'm still not sure if I'm going over. Keeping all options open at this point.

Odyssey Sims
Odyssey Sims, Baylor University
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players, not just players in your age group, named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
It means a lot. Any time I can play for USA Basketball and go and represent my county that speaks volumes. Iím blessed to be part of a great organization, and Iím just happy.

Do you feel that this has made all the hours you put in with USA Basketball on the court worth it?
More than anything, I think it just makes all the time Iíve put in more valuable. Iíve been a part of USA Basketball for a couple of years, and Iíve wanted to make each team that Iíve tried out for, but making this team would mean more than anything.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
I would say it has been a dream Iíve always had. Iíve always wanted to play on a big stage. Being named to the national team and having my name in the pool means a lot. Hopefully, I will get selected. If not, Iíll keep playing and hopefully make my dream come true one day.

Breanna Stewart
Breanna Stewart, University of Connecticut
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players, not just players in your age group, named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
This is obviously a great honor, and I think continuing to have the opportunity to learn from the veteran players will be an unbelievable experience. Iím very excited to see where everything goes.

Do you feel that this has made all the hours you put in with USA Basketball on the court worth it?
I think that anytime you have an opportunity to represent your country playing the sport you love is something that I always want to do. To have played multiple times before leading up to this, this is something Iím really excited about.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
Ever since I watched the Olympics, thatís something Iíve always wanted to do. I think that representing your country through basketball at the highest level is something that I have always wanted to do and is one of my biggest goals.

Alyssa Thomas
Alyssa Thomas, University of Maryland
What does it mean for you to be among the nation's best players named to the 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team?
Itís almost unbelievable to be included in this group. It was amazing to be invited to try out and play with these players, let alone be with them for the next few years. I just want to keep working hard and help the USA continue to be the best in the world.

This is the first step to being named to a USA World Championship or U.S. Olympic team. Is that something you've always wanted to do, or did you just recently start thinking that's a possibility for your future?
I think all athletes want to win a world championship or play in the Olympics, so this is definitely one of my many dreams. As players, we all want to be the best we can and the best in the world, so I just want to keep working like I always have and hopefully those things will happen.

Courtney Vandersloot
Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky
What does it mean for you to be named to the USA National Team pool and be under consideration for the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic teams?
Itís quite an honor to be named to the national team pool. I had the privilege of playing alongside the best players in the world. The players that make up this pool spend most of the summer playing against one another, so its a really cool thing to see everyone come together on the same team with the same goal in mind, which is representing our country and winning the gold.

How difficult will it be for the committee to pare the list down to the final 12-member 2014 USA World Championship Team?
The committee has a very difficult task in front of them to narrow such a talented pool to 12 players, but by the success that this team has had in the past, they seem to do a very good job.

Lindsay Whalen
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Lynx
You first played for USA Basketball in 2002 in Brazil. What is it about playing for your country that makes you want to keep coming back?
Playing in Brazil in 2002 was my first experience with USA Basketball and it was an amazing opportunity and time to be able to make the team and travel all the way to Brazil. I had only been out of the country one time before so I am forever grateful for the chance I got to see a new part of the world.

It is always such an honor to be asked to come back and compete to make the final USA Basketball roster. When you think of the names that have been on the previous teams and the names that are currently in the running for the team you canít help but get excited and want to be a part of that amazing tradition. What makes it even more fun is just how great the people are and the lifelong relationships and memories you build during your time with USA basketball.

How hard do you think it'll be for the committee to pare down the list of players to just 12 for the 2014 World Championship Team?
I think that the group of players in the running for the 2014 World Championship is really a great combination of people that will make the final team truly unique. You have a great blend of size, quickness, skill, shooting and physicality that will really make it hard for the committee to decide on 12 players to represent the country. As a player in the group, I am just honored to be mentioned with all of those talented players.

Monica Wright
Monica Wright, Minnesota Lynx
What does it mean for you to be named to the 2014-16 USA National Team?
It is such a great honor to be named to the 2014-16 USA National Team and to have an opportunity to earn a spot. It is always been a goal of mine to be a part of this team, but being able to play and compete with the best players in the world to see where I match up will be an experience I am really looking forward to in and of itself.

How difficult will it be for the committee to pare the pool down to 12 for the 2014 World Championship?
There are a wide variety of players on the roster with many different skills sets, but all world class talented athletes, so honestly it's going to be extremely difficult for the committee. I'm sure it is always.

Sophia Young
Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars
What does it mean for you to be included among the nation's best athletes under consideration for the 2014 USA World Championship Team?
I am beyond honored to be included amongst the nation's best players. I am so blessed and cannot give credit to anyone but Jesus Christ. Thank you for this opportunity, and I will give my all to represent this country to the best of my abilities.

How difficult of a decision will it be for the committee to pare the list down to 12 for the eventual 2014 squad?
It will be extremely difficult for the committee to select 12 players out of all the players on the national team. This country has so many talented players, and whoever is chosen will represent this country well.