USA Basketball Release
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Current University of Connecticut women's basketball standouts Napheesa Collier (O'Fallon, Missouri) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) were named to the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women's National Team pool, as announced by USA Basketball on Thursday morning. Headlined by 13 Olympic and/or FIBA World Cup gold medalists, 29 athletes today were named to the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women's National Team pool, from which the 2018 USA World Cup Team is expected to be selected. The pool was selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee.
The 29 members of the 2017-20 USA National Team roster announced today include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Napheesa Collier (Connecticut); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Asia Durr (Louisville); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut); Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun); and A'ja Wilson (South Carolina).
Highlighting the returning veterans are four-time Olympic gold medalists Bird and Taurasi; three-time Olympic gold medalists Augustus and Fowls; two-time Olympic gold medalists Charles, McCoughtry, Moore and Whalen; 2016 Olympic gold medalists Delle Donne, Griner and Stewart.
Additionally, in continuing its preparations for the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball and future USA Basketball Women's National Team events, available members of the USA pool will participate in a minicamp Feb. 9-11, 2018, at the University of South Carolina. It will mark the second camp under the direction of Dawn Staley, 2017-20 USA Basketball Women's National Team and South Carolina head coach.
"I'm incredibly pleased with the pool of players that make up the 29 and the different experiences that they bring to the team," said Staley. "Anytime you can assemble the best players in our country together in one place, it always is an incredible thing. I think USA Basketball has done a great job of making things convenient for everyone in bringing people together in a place in which, I think everyone who comes will be pleasantly surprised at what Columbia has to offer and what our university has to offer. It's a tremendous time that will be spent wisely, and it'll be enjoyable."
All 29 athletes possess prior USA Basketball international experience. Combined, the athletes own 100 gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals in official junior and senior level five-on-five competitions, as well as seven gold medals in international 3x3 events. The list of USA National Team members is underscored by a total of 25 Olympic and 19 FIBA World Cup gold medals.
USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee includes three-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Katie Smith as the athlete representative; representing the WNBA is Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller and Los Angeles Sparks general manager Penny Toler; and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who coached USA teams to gold medals at the past two Olympics and FIBA World Cups, serves as a special advisor.
Members of the USA Basketball Women's National Team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup (Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain) and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9 in Tokyo), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
FIBA World Cup of Basketball
The USA owns a record nine gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Cup play, while compiling an all-time 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.
Automatically qualified for two of the 16 World Cup slots are host Spain and the USA as defending Olympic champion.
Qualified from the Africa Zone are Nigeria and Senegal; Australia, China, Japan and South Korea qualified out of Asia; Argentina, Canada and Puerto Rico qualified out of the Americas; while Belgium, France, Greece, Latvia and Turkey qualified out of Europe.
The 18th FIBA World Cup format will feature a round-robin competition in preliminary round play with four groups comprised of four teams each. Following the preliminary round, the first-place team in each group will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while the second- and third-place teams in each group will compete in quarterfinal play-in games. Quarterfinals winners will advance to the semifinals, and the gold medal game will be played on Sept. 30.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.