The team at Arlington National Cemetery.
July 16, 2012
STORRS, Conn. -Diana Taurasi scored 16 points and dished-out seven assists while Tina Charles and Maya Moore each added 11 points to lead the United States Olympic Team over Brazil by a 99-67 score in exhibition play on Monday evening in our nation's capital. Lindsay Whalen led the way for Team USA with 21 points. Team USA is led by head UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and includes six UConn alumni. Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tina Charles, Asjha Jones, Maya Mooreand Diana Taurasi all have their sights set on leading the US to its fifth-straight gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games commence on July 27 and Team USA will face its first test on July 28 when it takes on Croatia at 4:45 p.m. EDT. Since Saturday, Team USA has been training in our nation's capital. UConn assistant director of video services, Keith Anderson, has been in Washington with the team and will travel with the squad to London. Fans can get an inside look at the team throughout the games right here on UConnHuskies.com via reports from Anderson.
Entry #1 | July 16, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
Good afternoon, UConn Country! I hope everyone is having a great summer. The last couple of days have been an incredible experience and I am honored and privileged to be a part of it. The team arrived on Saturday and things got off to a pretty good start. You could tell there was some jet lag to shake off though but by the second day it was all gone.
It's amazing to think that this team really hasn't been together all that much but by the second day the team seemed like it had been together for a long time and looked completely ready to roll!
"The first day I know the kids were a little tired," Auriemma said. "But overall I thought we looked pretty good. We had a lot of energy and we got a lot done. We have a game Monday so we don't have a lot of time to worry about what we're not. We have to focus on what we are and I thought we looked really good today."
It was also pretty cool to see the men's team doing some training as well. The two teams seem to get along really well. I think former UConn great Maya Mooreshared those sentiments.
"I think when it comes to USA Basketball time it's really fun because we get to interact with each other," Moore said. "I went to their practice yesterday and got to hang out with a couple of them. I think we really support each other. Both teams respect the other and really appreciate how much everyone loves the game."
So does Asjha Jones ...
"I think the team looks great," Jones said. "You wouldn't be able to tell we've only had two practices together. This team has a really high basketball IQ and whatever Coach puts in, people pick it up really quickly."
After that really good practice on Sunday, we were treated to an event near the Capitol that included a great view of Washington. Check out the photos in the photo gallery above.
Earlier today the team was treated to an absolutely incredible experience. We went through about an hour-long shoot around and then headed to Arlington National Cemetery, which was simply unforgettable. We were treated to a tour of the Cemetery by military officials and had the opportunity to meet the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.
We then went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and viewed that highly emotional ceremony. We were then able to speak with General Dempsey and a few other military officials and they were appreciative of what WE are doing! We were all thinking `are you kidding me?! WE are the ones that owe you so much.'
They were just great people and it was an honor to meet them. I know everyone on the team is now just a little more appreciative of how great this country is and how great our armed service men and women are. That event was capped off when the soldiers took the American flag patches off their uniforms and gave them to the players.
Like I said, it was simply an unforgettable experience that truly put things in perspective.
Coach Auriemma told us about a conversation he had with a military official on Friday and it really resonates. To paraphrase, everyone loves to play a home game and play in front of the home crowd. But one of the last things the military wants to do is play a home game. They are dedicated to serving overseas out of the comfort of their country and keeping the home crowd safe.