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2004 U.S. Olympic Women

Facts & Photos: 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team

  • Date:
    Jul 26, 2020

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were to be held July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Summer Games to 2021. USA Basketball is celebrating the original dates of the 2020 Olympics with a look back at past U.S. Olympic men’s and women’s basketball teams through photos and fun facts. Be sure to check in daily for Olympic memories galore!

On this day in USA Basketball Olympic History: July 26

Dawn Staley was elected by her U.S. peers to carry the flag and lead the United States delegation into the stadium at Opening Ceremony on Aug. 13.

Dawn Staley

Ahead of the 2004 Olympics, the USA National Team played an exhibition game on Aug. 5 against a team of WNBA players at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, complete with a performance by The Rockettes. The USA defeated the WNBA squad 74-58.

2004 USA National Team vs. WNBA

2004 was the Olympic debut for Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi, who are now four-time Olympic gold medalists.

Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi
From left to right: Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi

USA Basketball’s ‘Big Three’ of Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes collected a third Olympic gold medal in Athens. Leslie went on to earn a fourth gold in 2008, with Staley on the sideline as an assistant coach. Prior to 2004, only Anne Donovan, Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain had been named to three or more Olympic rosters. After 2016, that list now stands at 12.

Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie
From left to right: Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley and Lisa Leslie

Anne Donovan, who won Olympic gold as an athlete in 1984 and 1988, returned to USA Basketball for her first golden run as part of an Olympic staff as an assistant coach at the 2004 Games. One month later, she piloted the Seattle Storm to the 2004 WNBA title. And in 2008 as the U.S. Olympic head coach, she led the USA to gold.

Sue Bird, Anne Donovan
Sue Bird (left) and Anne Donovan together won gold at the 2004 Olympics and a WNBA title with the Seattle Storm.

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