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USA Basketball Women’s National Team Quote Board

  • Date:
    Feb 10, 2018

Dawn Staley, 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach
On today’s practice:
I think it went well. It ran much smoother. The players really understand what we’re trying to accomplish. Things just slowed down, they slowed down to a pace where they can be effective. I thought that yesterday we shot out of a cannon and really couldn’t stop the bleeding. But today, it looked much better, felt much better out there.

How much influence do Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi have on the younger players and their performance?
Camps can’t run as smoothly without that veteran leadership. You hear Diana on the side. Sue pretty much, beside that last scrimmage, she’s been a part of every winning drill, every winning team. She’s pretty much the common denominator when it comes to winning.

The final scrimmage today was incredibly competitive. What are your thoughts on that?
It truly is like a basketball utopia. Because, they’re competing at such a high level. They have such mutual respect for each other. It’s a little bantering, it’s a little bit of competitiveness, it’s encouragement, yet, it’s just the USA Basketball way. The culture speaks for itself. It’s not like a show for anybody. This is who we are. We compete at the highest level and we have that respect for one another.

With one day left in this camp, what are you hoping to get out tomorrow’s practice?
I’m sad that it’s almost over. But, just continue to forge our relationships with the older players and the younger players, getting great chemistry amongst everybody. I know a lot of them have played together, but there may be one or two, three or four new players in the fold who need to understand how they need to approach things. They need to understand how it all works because it’s very different from any other team that they’ve ever participated on. It’s good to have everybody around, learning those qualities that you need for our team to be successful.

Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball Chairman
Gen. Dempsey addressed the USA National Team training camp participants. This is part of his message:
You finish the mission first. It’s not about you. Never accept defeat. You’re going to get beat sometimes, but you can never accept defeat. You can never quit. Forty minutes – every minute counts and every possession counts. And most important for me, I will never leave a fallen comrade. So, while you’re a team – now in our case it was literally a fallen comrade – but in your case, you’re going to know when your teammates are having up-and-down days. You’re just going to know that, because you become a family. Pick each other up, and if you do that, then you’ll be living up to the culture of USA Basketball.

Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)
How have these two days been so far for you?
They’ve been good. The three-day camps are bittersweet. You love coming in and getting everyone together. You have a lot of new faces, so it brings a little more energy. But then it’s only three days and by the second day, you’re ready for two more, but you know you only have one more left.

The final scrimmage today was incredibly competitive. What are your thoughts on that?
It got real competitive, people were diving on the floor for loose balls, saving it from going out, some real physical plays. It just brings out the best in us. When we can do that, go after each other super hard, it’s going to make us better. It’s going to make the USA team better, too.

Have any of the newcomers ask you for any advice?
We just are kind of steering them a little, although I’m still kind of young out here myself, but I’m just trying to lead by example, going hard each play, helping out on shot selection, because it’s hard. I remember my first year, that was my biggest thing, I didn’t know what kind of shot to take. Should I take my shot? Should I not? Sometimes I go one-on-two, but here you don’t have to go one-on-two because you make one more pass and someone’s going to be wide open.

If you were to play an Olympic winter sport, what would it be?
Snowboarding. For sure, snowboarding. Halfpipe, yeah. I’ve always been a fan. Shaun White’s my favorite and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do. You know, he had a bit of a spill, he had some injuries that were pretty bad, but he made it back. I can’t wait to see him.

Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)
What’s the training camp been like for you on the sidelines, how much are you soaking in by observing?
Anytime you have the opportunity to be around great coaches, great people, great community, it’s an opportunity to learn. That’s why I like coming out here, I’ll always be a part of the USA family. I haven’t been able to play, but seeing the flow and the plays from a coach’s point of view, it’s really helping me see it as a player. So, I’m definitely learning a lot.

Since you’re not playing, you took over the USA Basketball Instagram account today. What kind of things were you looking for?
Honestly, the biggest thing here is always the energy. There’s always such good energy. So, anytime I could capture that moment and let people see what being inside USA Basketball is all about, that’s what I was trying to do as much as I can. It’s been fun.

3x3 basketball is going to be in the 2020 Olympic Games. Having won the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, what is the game like and given the choice, would you go 3x3 or five-on-five?
I played 3x3 and it was a really cool experience. I definitely enjoyed it. I grew up playing in the parks, I grew up playing 3x3 and playing outside, so that was always a great correlation of everything. I kind of brought everything full circle. If I had to choose? I don’t know. 3x3 is more like one-on-one. For me, I played tennis, so I know the one-on-one aspect of sports, but I chose basketball because I wanted to be on a team sport. So, I’d probably choose five-on-five because I like the camaraderie of being on a bigger team and all the aspects of that. You are on a team on 3x3, but it’s different situational stuff. But, either way, if you have a chance to go for a gold medal, it’s really hard to say no to that.

If you were to be a winter Olympian, what sport would it be?
I would have to say the halfpipe, snowboarding. I always think that’s pretty cool. When Shaun White goes, I watch him a lot. That’s one of my favorite things. If I could learn how to snowboard, I definitely would. I think the halfpipe is pretty sweet.

Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun)
How has training camp been going for you over the first two days?
Man, I’ve been loving it. It’s very competitive up and down, so that’s my type of game.

Did it help having already been at the USA National Team training camp last fall?
Oh yeah, for sure. You’re kind of familiar with a lot of the drills and know how it’s going to go. So, yeah, it definitely helped that I was there for the first one.

What have you taken away from these two days?
I’ve just been soaking in a lot of things from all the vets. Just the little things they do, their leadership, trying to learn those type of qualities.

If you were to play an Olympic winter sport, what would it be?
I really dig the snowboarding! I don’t know how good I’d be at that, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun!

Halfpipe, slopestyle or snowboard cross?
Ohhh! I like when they go all the way down and do that big trick at the end, slopestyle. That’s the most exciting one for me.

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