2022 USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Qualifying Team Finalized
Following a three-day training camp that featured 17 athletes, the 12-member USA Basketball team that will compete in the Feb. 10-12 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Washington, D.C., was finalized and includes six athletes with a combined eight Olympic and FIBA World Cup gold medals. The USA team was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Selection Committee, chaired by Connecticut Sun president Jennifer Rizzotti.
The young and talented U.S. squad, led by 2021-24 USA National Team head coach Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx), is headlined by 2018 World Cup and 2020 Olympic gold medalists Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm) and Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); and 2020 Olympic gold medalists Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics), Stefanie Dolson (New York Liberty), Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings) and Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces).
Also selected to represent the USA against Belgium and Puerto Rico on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, respectively, were Natasha Howard (New York Liberty), Brionna Jones (Connecticut Sun), Kayla McBride(Minnesota Lynx) and Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever), each of whom have prior USA Basketball game experience; and first-time USA team members Dearica Hamby (Las Vegas Aces) and Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun).
The Washington, D.C., World Cup Qualifying Tournament will be played at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, featuring games between the USA, Belgium and Puerto Rico from Feb. 10-12. Puerto Rico will play Belgium on Feb. 10 (4:30 p.m. EST); the Feb. 11 contest features the USA against Belgium (6:30 p.m. EST); and the tournament concludes with a USA versus Puerto Rico clash on Feb. 12 (4:30 p.m. EST). Tickets for all games range from $10 (plus Ticketmaster fees) for general admission to $100 (plus Ticketmaster fees) for courtside seating and are on sale via Ticketmaster.com and USAB.com/tickets. Fans can save 25% by purchasing tickets online for any of the three games by using promo code “FIBA22” at checkout.
“There was a lot of great energy and excitement over the course of the last few days with this new group,” said Rizzotti, who served as an assistant coach to the USA’s 2018 World Cup and 2020 Olympic gold medal winning teams. “This group of players is showcasing the future of USA Basketball and this FIBA tournament will give them a great opportunity to get much needed experience in meaningful competition against Belgium and Puerto Rico.
“It was so impactful to have Olympians at the camp and although three of the most veteran Olympians, Angel
McCoughtry, Breanna Stewart and Elena Delle Donne, aren't ready to compete in the upcoming games, their overall presence and leadership were invaluable for our younger players.
“As always, we appreciate the sacrifice that some of these players made to be here for this competition and although it's a short preparation window, we are confident in their commitment and Cheryl's leadership to make important strides over the next week to prepare for the upcoming World Cup this fall.”
WNBA head coaches Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings) and Mike Thibault (Washington Mystics) will serve as assistant coaches during the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament. Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun) and James Wade (Chicago Sky) will support the team as court coaches and team scouts.
In additional to Rizzotti, the selection committee includes Olympic and World Cup gold medalists Seimone Augustus and DeLisha Milton-Jones, 2017-21 USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley and WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin.
FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament
A total of 16 nations will compete in the four FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournaments. The top three finishing teams in each of the four qualifying tournaments will advance to the 2022 FIBA World Cup, which will be held Sept. 22-Oct. 1 in Sydney, Australia. Should Australia and/or the U.S., which already are qualified for the World Cup as the host nation and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, respectively, not finish among the top three teams in their respective tournaments, only the top two teams from those groups, plus the U.S. and/or Australia will advance to compete in the FIBA World Cup.
Competing in the Belgrade, Serbia, Group A are Australia, Brazil, Serbia and South Korea; Belgrade Group B consists of China, France, Mali and Nigeria; and competing in Osaka, Japan, will be Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada and Japan.
Russia, which was originally scheduled to play in the four-team group in Washington, D.C., will instead compete against Belgium and Puerto Rico in the Dominican Republic, and will not play against the United States.