Last week was a big week for USA Basketball as the 29 players who will make up the 2017-2020 National Pool for the United States Basketball Women’s National Team were unveiled.
Those players were:
Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Layshia Clarendon, Napheesa Collier, Elena Delle-Donne, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Stefanie Dolson, Asia Durr, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Tiffany Hayes, Jantel Lavender, Jewell Loyd, Kayla McBride, Angel McCoughtry, Kelsey Mitchell, Maya Moore, Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka Ogwumike, Kelsey Plum, Katie Lou Samuelson, Odyssey Sims, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Morgan Tuck, Lindsay Whalen, Courtney Williams, and A’ja Wilson.
In addition to the announcement of the 29-woman pool, anchored by Bird and Taurasi – both of whom are four-time Olympians – many of those players will also participate in a minicamp from Feb. 9-11 at the University of South Carolina. Those players currently in college, such as Collier, Durr, Mitchell, Samuelson, and Wilson likely will not be available. The same applies to those players who will still be overseas around that time.
I’m incredibly pleased with the pool of players that make up the 29 and the different experiences that they bring to the team.
–USA Basketball head coach Dawn Staley
I’m looking forward to putting my stamp on this training camp because it’s new, it’s different. Yet, you can give the 29 members of the pool anything to run, and they’re going to make you look good. We just have to get together to form some chemistry.
A good portion of the upcoming teams for the 2018 FIBA World Cup as well as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will likely come from this group.
This is a very talented group, from four-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, to the younger players who are hoping to compete in their first USA National Team competition.
–Carol Callan, women’s national team director and chair of USABWNT selection committee
We acknowledged that what has made the USA National Team program such a resounding success over the past two decades was the way our teams have seamlessly blended youth with veteran leadership. And because of that, we wanted to make sure we continued with that recipe in building a team.
As was the case last year in the buildup to the Olympics in Rio, many will focus on one of those notable veterans who was, once again, left off the roster in Candace Parker. She did not participate on the 2016 Olympic roster and this led many observers to believe this was motivation for her. The Los Angeles Sparks won that season’s WNBA Finals 3 games to 2 over the Minnesota Lynx.