USA Basketball Women’s National Team to Play WNBA All-Stars in Las Vegas
-- USA Basketball and WNBA to Honor 1996 U.S. Women on 25th Anniversary of Historic Gold Medal Finish --
The 2021 USA Basketball Women’s National Team for the third time will take on a team comprised of WNBA All-Stars when it faces off against a squad comprised of 2021 WNBA All-Stars on July 14 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite players as 2021 All-Stars. However, members of the USA National Team, which will be announced at a later date and comprised of 12 members of the 2021 USA National Team pool, will be set by USA Basketball and considered 2021 WNBA All-Stars in league record books.
Additionally, USA Basketball and the WNBA will honor the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, which 25 years ago helped launch, along with a record six-straight Olympic gold medal streak, two U.S. professional leagues. The ’96 squad, which posted a 52-0 record in the lead-up to the Atlanta Olympics, spent 10 months of preparation that spanned seven countries and more than 100,000 miles of air travel, reclaimed Olympic gold after the USA last won gold in 1988.
University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is the USA’s head coach and Dan Hughes, Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) and Jen Rizzotti (Connecticut Sun) are the USA National Team assistant coaches.
The first time a USA versus WNBA game was played was on Aug. 5, 2004, at Radio City Music Hall, ahead of the 2004 Olympics. In that game the USA earned a 74-58 win behind double-doubles from Tamika Catchings (12 points, 11 rebounds), Yolanda Griffith (11 points, 15 rebounds) and Lisa Leslie (15 points, 12 rebounds), Mwadi Mabika scored a WNBA-high 11 points for her squad.
On July 10, 2020, in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, the USA National Team played at the Mohegan Sun Arena in a game billed as WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game. Sylvia Fowles, who scored 23 points and grabbed eight boards in the 99-72 victory, was named the game’s MVP, and Katie Douglas scored a high of 15 points for the WNBA squad.
In addition to the game on July 14, the USA National Team will play two more exhibition games in Las Vegas prior to departing for Tokyo.
The USA Women’s National Team is scheduled to face Australia on July 16 (11:30 a.m. PDT), immediately preceding the USA Men’s National Team vs. Australia game, and then will take on Nigeria on July 18 (2:30 p.m. PDT), immediately preceding the USA Men’s National Team vs. Spain game.
Prior to the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, the 2019-20 USA National Team owned a combined 17-1 record, which includes a 3-0 mark in Serbia at the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, a 3-0 record at the 2019 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Argentina, a 5-1 slate in exhibition games in 2019 and 2020 against college teams and a 6-0 mark and gold medal at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico.