Additional Quotes: July 24, 2021
USA assistant coach Dan HUGHES (USA) - assistant coach
On Sue BIRD's leadership qualities:
My son went to the Air Force Academy and there is so much about leadership, and I think watching some of the theory that my son was taught, you see it in Sue. You just flat out see it. She is probably as good an example in the field of sports that you could point to.
On playing as a team:
We have been fortunate to have a number of really good basketball players put on the United States uniform, but when they have put it on they have done a great job of saying, ‘what do you need me to do on this team?’ Not so much, 'here are my strengths', it is more about what can I do to make this team whole.
Brittney GRINER (Phoenix Mercury/Baylor)
On defense being the biggest strength in her game:
Well, that is one thing I can always rely on. Offence comes and goes but with defence a lot of it is heart and, you know, I have got a lot of heart. It is one thing I pride myself in: protecting the rim. Even if I don’t get a blocked shot, just having a presence, being there, being big, being loud, letting them see my body and my frame. If they want to challenge me, I am always welcoming the challenge in the paint.
On her friendship with men's team player Kevin DURANT:The chemistry between the two teams has always been great. Me, with KD and Draymond (GREEN), we have like a funny relationship. I feel like they are my big brothers.
A’ja WILSON (Las Vegas Aces/South Carolina)
On the Opening Ceremony:
Oh man, it was quite the experience yesterday. You grow up watching the Olympics and the Opening Ceremony in the Olympics, but to actually be attending it, it was definitely one for the books.
I think that is when I had my pinch moment, like I am not dreaming anymore, I am actually here. Having that moment really helped me understand this is real, I am an Olympian and now the real stuff is starting.
On her first Olympic Games memory:
My birthday fell on an Olympics opening day. I think it was August 8, 2008, so 080808. I had an Olympic-themed birthday party and that was the first time I laid eyes on it and was like, 'wow that is real.'
On her weirdest experience so far at Tokyo 2020:
Oh my gosh. Netflix here is completely different to Netflix in America. I was like, oh my God, they have all these different kinds of stuff here and then in America it was nothing. That is what I have learnt. They had like Bad Boys II here, which is like my favourite movie.
Napheesa COLLIER (Minnesota Lynx/Connecticut)
On upcoming opponents Nigeria, who USA beat in a recent exhibition game:
Something that really impressed me was how hard they played the entire game, the fight that they had. That is what every team is going to be like when we are here, so we have to be prepared for every game because we are going to get everybody’s best game and best effort.