Additional Quotes: July 21, 2021
USA head coach Dawn STALEY (University of South Carolina)
On her coaching style:
This isn’t rocket science. You have to give the players space to be great and make plays, and not get in the way - but also get in the way when it’s time for you as coach to make decisions out there on the floor.
On changes in the inside (post) game in women's basketball over the years:
Post play has changed a great deal and we’ve changed along with it. We’ve grown as a country because of what we had to face (in international play). We also have dominant post players who can work the block and work the paint. And that is probably our separation when it comes to post play.
Brittney GRINER (Phoenix Mercury/Baylor University)
On what makes international play different from the WNBA:
One, I can sit in the middle of the paint in a zone, that’s for one. And then the physicality. It’s definitely more physical than the WNBA when we’re playing international play. So I actually like that, being able to be a little bit more physical than we’re able to be back at home.
On whether she and her interior teammates discuss their role on the team:
We definitely talk about how we’re going to protect the paint, how we’re really big and really long and we have to use that to our advantage.
On who has impressed her among the first-time Olympians on the USA roster:
I really love Ariel ATKINS’ game. She comes in and plays hard on defence and on offence. She’s quiet but you definitely notice her and I literally said it a couple of times on the bench in Vegas, I was like, 'Yo, I really love her game'.
She’s definitely going to be a good newcomer and give us a spark.
On whether she will perform a slam dunk at these Games:
“I definitely want to throw one down. So it’s my goal - it’s like my second goal is to get one and throw one down.”
Breanna STEWART (Seattle Storm/University of Connecticut)
On the difference between her first Olympic experience at Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020:
That the difference between my first Olympics in Rio and now, fast-forward five years, is obviously the maturity and growth as a pro, but also realising that I’m in a different position as far as what’s expected of me.
My first year (Rio 2016), I was just coming out of college, soaking the entire experience in, and now continuing to take on a bigger role.
On rivals Australia, who defeated the USA in an exhibition game in Las Vegas last week:
What makes Australia so tough is the fact that they’re a team that’s super-disciplined, they have so much chemistry, they’ve been playing with one another for a while. And obviously their skill set.
So we have a ton of respect for Australia. It was great to match up with them before we got to Tokyo and hopefully if all goes well on both sides we’ll match up with them later on. I’m sure we’re going to see them.
A’Ja WILSON (Las Vegas Aces/University of South Caorlina)
On what has been holding the team together since their arrival in Tokyo:
Honestly I don’t even think we’ve been here long enough to say we’re starting to mesh and gel, but we formed that in Vegas, so we’re slowly coming together of course. But holding me together? I’m just trying to get some sleep. This time difference is quite a trickster here.
I’m adapting pretty well. I had some great French toast this morning. Oh my god, the toast was amazing. We’re slowly adapting.
The biggest thing is getting back to our sleep schedules, but it’s been a pretty good vibe here and that’s pretty much it.