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QUOTES: Athlete Reaction to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team Assistant Coaching Staff Announcement

  • Date:
    Feb 9, 2015

After assisting USA and University of head coach Geno Auriemma to the gold medal and a 6-0 record at the 2014 FIBA World Championship, USA Basketball today announced DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley will return as assistant coaches for the USA Women’s National Team through the 2016 Olympic Games. Below is reaction from many of the athletes who won gold at the 2014 Worlds in Istanbul. 

Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx)

“I’m glad that we will be having the same coaching staff through 2016. It helps with the cohesiveness of the team. We know what to expect from each coach from either playing with or against them. It only makes our team stronger, having four great minds working together to come up with the master plan to bring home another gold medal in 2016.”

“Coach Reeve is a tough, hard-nosed coach that knows how to bring the best out of her players. She is also a teacher that breaks the game down in so many ways, to help make offensive or defensive schemes easy to adjust to. Most importantly she wants to win just as much as any player. That fire inside is definitely something that we will need to bottle up and bring to Rio.”

Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)

“Our coaching staff had a perfect mix of coaches for the World Championship and I think it's great they are bringing them back through the Olympics. Each one brought a different strength and you could see they worked well together. There was a definitely a balance and just like the players, the coaches have to figure things out in a short period of time too. That balance helped them be successful and I'm sure it'll just continue to get better. “

Tina Charles (New York Liberty)

“I think it’s great that the World Championship coaches are returning through the 2016 Olympics. I was able to take something from each coach, and I look forward to retaining more knowledge through out the future USA training camps. It’s a huge honor for them and for any player and staff members to have a chance to be affiliated with USA Basketball.”

Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury)

“The assistant coaches did a great job at the (FIBA) World Championship. They all bring something different to the table, basketball wise and personality wise. Staley has competed at every level, Reeve has WNBA championships under her belt and Bruno is well respected among the college ranks as well as having previous experience coaching the national team.  They will be great for the Olympic team!”

Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx)

“I am tremendously fortunate to continue to enjoy not only my former college coach but my current WNBA coach as well.  Having coach Reeve on the sideline gives me a sense of comfort and pride to compete for her throughout our competitions.  Coach Reeve's knowledge of the game is world class, and I know she’s always setting up her players to succeed.”

“This is truly one of the most special coaching staffs I’ve had the privilege to play for. Each assistant coach is unique with so much to offer, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to work with them again.  They are all super competitive who love to teach the’s a player’s dream environment in which to grow.”

Nnemkadi ‘Nneka’ Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)

“After another successful World Championship, and as a novice to the entire experience, I was very thankful for the championship run and, most especially, the support we had in order to come back with the gold. The time, effort and enthusiasm exhibited by the coaching staff reflected the chemistry and wisdom we, as players and a team, need to come out on top come Rio in 2016. I look forward to keeping the band together.”

Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock)

“ I really enjoyed working with the coaching staff this year that was a part of the 2014 USA Women’s National Team. I think they were a great fit for the team, and they worked so well together. It’s important to keep the staff together because their chemistry was perfect and they seemed like they were always on the same page.”

“The assistant coaches were great. Each coach specialized in something different. Whether it was defense, offense or skills.”

“What I learned the most was from Geno. Once I made the team, he told me that it’s important to have a positive attitude no matter what, and I can't afford to have any bad days at this level of play. I took that advice, and still keep it in my head everyday to help me get better and prepare for the future. I really connected with the assistant coaches, especially Doug Bruno. He always kept a smile on my face and always told me something positive every day. Not that the other coaches didn’t, overall all the coaches were great and a pleasure to be around!”

Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut)

“My experience working with Coach Bruno, Coach Staley and Coach Reeve was awesome!  The experience that they have within the world of basketball speaks for itself.  I think it is especially important to keep them as coaches through the 2016 Olympics because they take pride in representing USA Basketball, and the chemistry they have built together is only going to grow.

“The entire coaching staff is wonderful. Specifically, the assistant coaches provided a fun, intense atmosphere that I enjoyed being around both on and off the court.

“I have learned a lot from the assistant coaches.  I feel as if I have created a great relationship with all three of them.  Since the fall, I have been looking forward to competing against coach Bruno and coach Staley's teams during the regular season.”

Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx)

“I think that keeping the staff really makes a difference because all of the coaches know each other so well, and after going through the 2014 World Championships they know each other in game-time situations and what each ones’ strengths are and how to use them.”

“I think that Cheryl brings a lot of knowledge of the players around the world and a lot of insight into the WNBA and the players in the league. She knows the league in and out and the different systems that everyone uses, so I think she brings all of that to the staff. After playing for coach Reeve for five years in the WNBA and now with the USA National Team I can really see what she brings to the national team and I think she will bring that same enthusiasm and toughness to the 2016 games.”

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