Thursday, May 23, 2024

2024 Olympics: Workforce USA narrows down the 12-player roster for FIBA qualifying match

USA Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Workforce finalizes 12-Participant Roster Following Brooklyn coaching camp forward of FIBA qualifying match.

Photograph Credit score: Sara Jane Gamelli/Ballislife

BROOKLYN– Following a 3 day coaching camp on the Barclays Heart in Brooklyn, New York, the USA Girls’s Nationwide Basketball introduced their 12-player roster for the FIBA qualifying match. With the lineup set, the USA group will compete within the match on Feb. 8-11, in Antwerp, Belgium.

Already certified within the 2024 Paris Olympics, USA will compete in opposition to Belgium, Nigeria, and Senegal. The primary matchup vs. Belgium will happen on Feb. 8 at 2:45 p.m. ET. USA will face Nigeria on Feb. 9, beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Over the weekend, the 18-roster mini camp roster included the next athletes: Allisha Grey, Aliyah Boston, Alyssa Thomas, Ariel Atkins, Arike Ogunbowale, A’ja Wilson, Betnijah Laney, Breanna Stewart, Brittney Griner, Chelsea Grey, Diana Taurasi, Jackie Younger, Jewell Loyd, Kahleah Copper, Kelsey Plum, Napheesa Collier, Rhyne Howard, and Sabrina Ionescu.

All through coaching camp, all gamers have been divided into two groups, one sporting gray jerseys, and the opposite, crimson scrimmage vests. Within the intense apply, the athletes have been seen competing 5 vs. 5 in opposition to male basketball gamers, and one another. In attendance was WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, Chicago Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon, amongst a number of high-profile coaches and basic managers.

After the 5 vs. 5 scrimmage matchups, the gamers have been seen engaged on their pictures in particular person and group settings.

Though all of those gamers are distinctive athletes, sadly six of them have been minimize earlier than this weekend’s qualifying match. Noticeably absent is Aces star, A’ja Wilson, who has prior commitments, and Brittney Griner. It appears the rookies are being given an opportunity to compete in Belgium developing.

Diana Taurasi is competing for her sixth Olympic gold medal

The 12-roster finalists embrace five-time Olympic Gold Medalist Diana Taurasi. The UConn legend has spent all 16 years of her WNBA profession with the Phoenix Mercury. She acquired a gold medal in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.

Current at coaching camp, Taurasi make clear competing for her nation, and the youthful technology taking on as the brand new faces of ladies’s basketball.

“It is at all times been one thing that we have taken critically,” Taurasi advised the media after apply. “These camps occur for a purpose, clearly it is an Olympic yr. They’re hind within the depth and strain, however coach Reeves, she does a very good job of creating it quite simple. You come out right here, you play arduous, you play to your teammate, you play to your nation.”

Contemplating the Olympics are each 4 years, at age 41, this might very effectively be Taurasi’s final Olympics of her skilled profession. Even at her age, Taurasi nonetheless loves competing at a excessive stage.

“It is no secret, it is floor and pound,” stated Taurasi. “Everyone seems to be at all times making an attempt to ask– you wish to do it each single day once you’re 40. It hurts just a little bit extra, it takes just a little bit longer, however it’s sweeter when the day’s over. I nonetheless like to compete. I nonetheless like to play. “

Rookies are getting a shot this upcoming weekend

Former rookies of the yr Aliyah Boston, and Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard, are each finalists for the 12-person roster. Though they’ve prior USA basketball expertise, they’ll make their senior debuts this weekend in Belgium. Boston, the previous No.1 choose within the 2023 WNBA Draft, grew to become the primary rookie to start out an All-Star sport since 2014. Howard, a 2x WNBA All-Star, has blossomed right into a star in simply two seasons.

“Candy ft, she’s bought candy ft.” stated Taurasi on Aliyah Boston. “What an awesome child. I’ve spent a while her within the final camp. She’s such a superb, clever, younger girl. You aren’t getting to understand how good somebody is till you pay with them. Aliyah [Boston] is the way forward for not solely the WNBA, however of USA Basketball.”

As Taurasi competes for her sixth Olympic gold medal, the Mercury star says it has been enjoyable to play with the youthful technology of gamers, and the sport of basketball has developed over time. Though she’s accustomed to sure ranges of comfortability, she’s open to reaching the identical objective of successful a gold medal regardless of variations ranges of expertise.

“It is humorous, typically expertise is an Achilles heel,” Taurasi advised the media. “You have been by means of it so many occasions. You’re feeling like there is a sure method of doing it. Being round these children not solely in USA Basketball, the WNBA, it is an entire new technology of children. They study totally different, they assume totally different, the play totally different. It has been actually enjoyable to see how they go about it, and there is multiple solution to pores and skin a cat.”

The ultimate 12-person roster for the FIBA qualifying match

The opposite qualifying athletes embrace Ariel Atkins, Napheesa Collier, Kahleah Copper, Sabrina Ionescu, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Breanna Stewart, Alyssa Thomas, and Jackie Younger. In search of their eight consecutive Gold Medal, Atkins, Collier, Loyd, Plum, Stewart, and Younger have been all members within the 2020 Olympics. A core a part of the 3×3 2020 Olympic group, Plum and Younger are as soon as once more headed to Paris. Copper and Thomas have been each members of the 2022 USA Girls’s World Cup roster.

Because the group heads over seas, Cheryl Reeve, head coach of the Minnesota Lynx, was named the USA Girls’s Basketball Head Coach for the coaching camp and qualifying tournaments.

There will likely be one other coaching camp in April, the place the group could make its last roster modifications earlier than heading to Paris this summer time. The reigning champions, the USA Nationwide Girls’s basketball group hasn’t misplaced because the 1992 Olympics, the place they earned a bronze medal.

Keep tuned for extra associated articles. Click on right here

Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content material Creator and Social Media Supervisor for Ballislife Bets. She has a deal with the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane at the moment resides in Connecticut/NYC space together with her Cat and Canine. SJ has her undergraduate diploma from the College of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in enterprise administration.

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