2018 USA Women’s National Team Heads to New York with 15 Athletes
Following its three-day camp in Columbia, South Carolina, which culminated with an entertaining intrasquad exhibition game on Sept. 5, 14 athletes will continue on to USA Basketball’s next training camp in the hopes of claiming a spot on the 2018 USA World Cup Team. Additionally, the roster further will be bolstered by the addition of Elizabeth Williams, who helped the Atlanta Dream advance to the 2018 WNBA semifinals.
The U.S. will train Sept. 7 (10:30 a.m. EDT) at the New York Knicks practice facility in Tarrytown, New York, before taking on Canada in an exhibition contest on Sept. 8 (7 p.m. EDT) at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Two-time defending World Cup gold medalists, the USA is preparing for the 2018 FIBA World Cup, which will be held Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain.
Headlining the list is Tina Charles (New York Liberty), a two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist; as well as Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks) and Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks), who joined Charles on the 2014 gold medal winning USA World Cup Team.
Including Williams, the remaining 12 finalists for the USA World Cup Team who will compete against Canada are: Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun), Napheesa Collier (University of Connecticut), Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky), Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky), Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings), Sabrina Ionescu (University of Oregon), Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever), Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces), Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces).
“We’re excited about the 14 that made it past the Columbia round and that we’ll add in Elizabeth Williams to the mix in New York,” said USA and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. “But, each round what we’re looking forward to is continuing to bond, to execute what we want to do on both sides of the ball and to keep getting better every day. Every day. We have an Olympian, World Cup gold medalists, WNBA All-Stars, and we’ve got some players who haven’t played at the USA National Team level. So, I’m looking forward to continuing to mesh everybody that we have on the roster as we move forward in this process of getting ready for the World Cup.”
The team will face Japan in its final domestic exhibition game on Sept. 10 (7 p.m. EDT) at the Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After a day off, the team will have one final practice on Sept. 12 (10 a.m. EDT) at the Smith Center before departing for Europe.
Information on purchasing tickets for each of the exhibition games can be found at usab.com/WNTtickets.
Members of the USA National Team pool who advanced to the 2018 WNBA semifinals were not available for the beginning of the camp, but may be added at a later date. Those athletes include: Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury).
Prior to arriving in Tenerife, Canary Islands, for the World Cup, the USA will play in a four-team, international tournament in Antibes, France, Sept. 15-17, against Canada, France and Senegal.
The final 12-member 2018 USA World Cup Team will be selected by the USA Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee prior to the start of the World Cup.
Hall of Famer Dawn Staley (South Carolina) is the USA National Team head coach through 2020. Assisting Staley through the World Cup are Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm), whose Seattle Storm advanced to the WNBA Finals and will join the team upon the conclusion of the Storm’s season, Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) and Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington).
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.
USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan chairs the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee, which includes three-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Katie Smith as the athlete representative; representing the WNBA is Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller and Los Angeles Sparks general manager Penny Toler; and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who coached USA teams to gold medals at the past two Olympics and FIBA World Cups, serves as a special advisor.
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).
FIBA World Cup of Basketball
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.