2016 USA Women’s Select Team Unveiled, Features Eight Athletes With USA Basketball Experience
Featuring eight athletes who have won gold as a member of at least one USA Basketball team, the 11-member USA Basketball Women’s Select Team was announced today. The USA Select Team will be coached by members of the 2016 USA National Team coaching staff.
Named to the 2016 USA Select Team were Kelsey Bone (Phoenix Mercury); Kahleah Copper (Washington Mystics); Stefanie Dolson (Washington Mystics); Natasha Howard (Minnesota Lynx); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Aerial Powers (Dallas Wings); Sugar Rodgers (New York Liberty); Odyssey Sims (Dallas Wings); Kiah Stokes (New York Liberty); and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).
The USA Select Team, comprised of young USA National Team members and future USA National Team hopefuls, will train alongside the 2016 USA Women’s National Team July 23-24 in Los Angeles before tipping-off the USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon in an exhibition game July 25 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition game versus the USA Select Team are on sale. For ticket information for all USA Basketball exhibition games, visit USAB.COM/SHOWCASE.
Invitations to the USA Select Team were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee, chaired by USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan.
“This is a really good group of young and talented athletes,” said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who has directed the USA National Team to an overall 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships. “Having them train against our USA National Team will not only help us prepare for Rio, but it will also give us a chance to evaluate them for future USA Basketball teams. I’ve already had the opportunity to work with several of them in a USA Basketball National Team setting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them as well as the rest of the USA Select Team in this kind of setting.”
The USA Select Team is scheduled to practice July 23 at 3:30 p.m. (PDT) at a site to be determined, hold a second practice July 24 at 10 a.m. (PDT) at USC’s Galen Center before tipping-off July 25 at 7 p.m. (PDT) against the USA National Team at the Galen Center.
Dolson, Loyd and Sims, a gold medalist on the 2014 USA World Championship Team, were finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team. Dolson also was a finalist for the 2014 USA World Championship Team, competed in the 2014 USA Basketball Red-White exhibition game and was a member of the 2015 USA National Team during its 2015 European Tour. Further, all three, as well as Mitchell, have taken part in at least one USA National Team minicamp and helped USA Basketball teams to gold at the junior level.
Loyd and Mitchell teamed up as half of the gold medal winning 2014 USA 3x3 World Championship Team.
Bone, Powers, Stokes and Williams each won at least one gold medal as a member of various USA Basketball junior teams.
From Los Angeles, the USA will host Australia, Canada and France in a three-stop tournament July 27-31 in Newark, Delaware, Bridgeport, Connecticut and New York.
The USA National Team continues its exhibition schedule at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center with a 5 p.m. (all times listed are local, EDT) start on July 27 for Australia-Canada, followed by a 7:30 p.m. clash between the USA and France. The July 29 games feature a 4:30 p.m. start at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport between Australia and France, while the USA takes on Canada at 7 p.m. On the tournament’s final day, July 31 at Madison Square Garden, Canada and France tip-off at 1:30 p.m., while the USA and Australia will begin play at 4 p.m.
From there, the U.S. team will travel to Houston for a final practice on Aug. 2, prior to traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Five-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team features three-time gold medalists and tri-captains Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); and 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Competing in their first Olympic Games will be Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm).
The United States (2014 FIBA World Championship gold medalist) was drawn into preliminary round group B along with Canada, Senegal (2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist), Serbia (2015 EuroBasket gold medalist) and China and Spain, which earned their berths at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The U.S. will open play against Senegal on Aug. 7; followed by Spain on Aug. 8; Serbia on Aug. 10; Canada on Aug. 12; and the USA concludes preliminary round play on Aug. 14 against China.
Auriemma will be assisted through the 2016 Olympic Games by DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley.
In addition to Callan, the USA Basketball National Team Player Selection committee includes: WNBA appointees Reneé Brown, WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations; Dan Hughes, head coach and general manager of the San Antonio Stars; and Chris Sienko, vice president and general manager of the Connecticut Sun; as well as three-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Championship gold medalist Katie Smith, who played in nearly 200 games for USA Basketball from 1993-2008 and serves as the athlete representative.