USA Women’s National Team to Face China in Exhibition Game April 26 in Seattle
The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team will go up against China in a previously announced exhibition contest April 26 in Seattle’s KeyArena. The USA team, which will be comprised of members of the 2018 USA National Team pool, will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the game, which will tip-off at 7 p.m. (all times listed are PDT) and are available via StormBasketball.com or by calling the Storm at 206-217-9622.
“It’s great for us to get such a game, especially against an experienced Olympic team like China early on in this process,” said Dawn Staley, USA National Team and University of South Carolina head coach. “I think the players will very much appreciate playing the game rather than practicing. Competition brings out the best in them, and that’s what China will give to us in Seattle.”
This marks the second game between the USA and China in Seattle. Prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, the two teams clashed on May 12, with the U.S. earning a 100-62 victory behind 19 points from Tamika Catchings.
Currently listing 10th in the world in FIBA’s women’s rankings, China qualified to play in the 2018 FIBA World Cup by virtue of a bronze-medal finish in the 2017 FIBA Asia Championship. China has competed in eight Olympic competitions and nine FIBA World Cups and has captured an Olympic silver medal (1992) and bronze medal (1984) and silver (1994) and bronze (1983) in World Cup play.
Prior to its April 26 game, the USA will train for approximately two hours each day, beginning at 10 a.m. April 24 and 11 a.m. April 25 at Seattle Pacific University.
The Seattle training camp will mark the third in the USA’s preparations for the 2018 FIBA World Cup, which will be held Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain. Members of the national team first gathered Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2017, in Santa Barbara, California, and recently concluded a Feb. 9-11, 2018, camp at the University of South Carolina.
The 2018-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool currently includes 34 athletes: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Napheesa Collier (University of Connecticut); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Asia Durr (University of Louisville); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings); Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State University); Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); Katie Lou Samuelson (University of Connecticut); Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Brittney Sykes (Atlanta Dream); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); Sydney Wiese (Los Angeles Sparks); Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun); Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream); and A’ja Wilson (University of South Carolina).
As was the case over the past three quadrenniums, the 2018-20 USA National Team roster will be fluid. It is expected that the official, 12-member 2018 USA World Cup and 2020 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify to compete in Tokyo, will be comprised of players from the 2018-20 USA National Team.
Assisting Staley and the USA National Team through the 2018 FIBA World Cup are a trio of head coaches, Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm), Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) and Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington).
USA Basketball Women’s National Team
Members of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9 in Tokyo), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
The U.S. and Staley first will look to capture the title at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball, with an automatic berth to the 2020 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in 2018, it would have two additional opportunities to qualify for the Olympics: the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup (dates and site TBD) and the 2020 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
2018 FIBA World Cup
Winners of back-to-back World Cup titles and four of the past five FIBA World Cups, the USA owns a record nine gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Cup play, while compiling an all-time, 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.
The USA will compete in preliminary round Group D and will play Senegal on Sept. 22, China on Sept. 23 and Latvia on Sept. 25.
Group A includes Canada, France, Greece and South Korea; Group B is comprised of Argentina, Australia, Nigeria and Turkey; while Group C features Belgium, Japan, Puerto Rico and Spain.
Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded, and the top team from each group will earn an automatic berth to the quarterfinals, while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams from each group will advance to the Sept. 26 quarterfinals play-in round. From there, winners will compete in the Sept. 28-30 medal round.