The #RoadToRio is in full effect!
On Monday, the U.S. Olympic Committee released the names of the 25 finalists for the Women’s U.S. Olympic Basketball team, and needless to say, the final roster will be LOADED!
Included in the list are bunch of newcomers Briann January (Indiana Fever), Skylar Diggins (Dallas Wings), Danielle Robinson (SA Stars), Kayla McBride (SA Stars), Stephanie Dolson (Washington Mystics), and our 2016 rookie of the Year Jewell Lloyd (Seattle Storm). And of course, our fave veterans are in the running for one of the final 12 spots, including Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Parker (LA Sparks). Head coach of the final roster will be UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.
Here is an excerpt from the official press release:
“Finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sue Bird(Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Skylar Diggins (Dallas Wings), Stefanie Dolson (Washington Mystics), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Briann January (Indiana Fever), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (San Antonio Stars),Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Stars), Odyssey Sims (Dallas Wings), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx).
Additionally, Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), who took part in the USA National Team’s minicamp in Las Vegas this past May, was added to the USA National Team pool and is among the 25 finalists. The No. 1 pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft and the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Loyd is a two-time world champion with USA Basketball. She helped the 2010 USA U17 World Championship Team collect gold with an 8-0 record, and she returned as a member of the 2014 USA 3×3 World Championship Team that swept its competition for a 9-0 record and gold medal at the 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Championship.
“I think her addition is because of some of the success she had during the summer playing in Seattle,” said Auriemma on Loyd’s selection to the USA National Team pool and list of U.S. Olympic Team finalists. “There is a concerted effort to get as many guards into this training camp as possible because we can’t just think about now, we also have to think about the future. She is one of the best young players in the league and deserves to be there.”
Included on the roster of finalists are three-time Olympic gold medalists Bird, Catchings and Taurasi (2004, 2008, 2012); two-time Olympic gold medalists Augustus, Fowles and Parker (2008, 2012); and Charles, McCoughtry, Moore and Whalen, who have each earned one Olympic gold medal (2012).
Further, Bird is a four-time USA World Championship Team member and three-time FIBA World Championship gold medalist; Catchings, Charles, McCoughtry, Moore, Taurasi and Whalen have captured two World Championship gold medals; Fowles earned gold at the 2010 Worlds; and Augustus, Griner, Nneka Ogwumike, Sims and Stewart earned a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Additionally, Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Parker and Taurasi returned with a bronze medal from the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Last October Bird, Delle Donne, Dolson, Dupree, Griner, McCoughtry, Parker, Robinson, Stewart and Vandersloot participated in the USA National Team’s European tour and aided the U.S. to a 4-0 record against a trio of European professional clubs and the Italian National Team.
Auriemma will be assisted through the 2016 Olympic Games by DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley.”
The final 12-player team will compete for their 6th gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, taking place from August 5-21 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Best of luck to all of the finalists, and as always, we’ll keep you updated on who makes the final cut!
(Original Story/Full Press Release: USAB.com)