Eleven women were selected Wednesday to represent the United States at the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 6-9 in Belgrade, Serbia, USA Basketball announced.
Once again, the U.S. boasts a team comprised of future Hall of Famers - like longtime national team standouts Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi - as well as emerging superstars - such as A'ja Wilson and Diamond DeShields.
|G||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|G||Diamond DeShields||Chicago Sky|
|G||Skylar Diggins-Smith||Dallas Wings|
|G||Chelsea Gray||Los Angeles Sparks|
|G||Jewell Loyd||Seattle Storm|
|G||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|F||Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|
|F||Breanna Stewart||Seattle Storm|
|F||A'ja Wilson||Las Vegas Aces|
|C||Sylvia Fowles||Minnesota Lynx|
|C||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury|
The team will be co-coached by the Seattle Storm's Dan Hughes and Minnesota Lynx coach and executive Cheryl Reeve. Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, who is the head coach of the U.S. women's national team during the current competition cycle, is unavailable for the qualifying tournament due to her commitments as bench boss at South Carolina.
As gold medalists at the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, the U.S. has already qualified for the 2020 Olympics. However, the team will still participate in the qualifying tournament, facing Nigeria, Mozambique, and host Serbia in what essentially amounts to exhibition play.
It's also an opportunity for USA Basketball to gain better clarity about final roster decisions ahead of the Tokyo Games.
"The new competition system gives us opportunities to play against quality international teams in order for our team to continue in its preparation for Tokyo," said Carol Callan, the women's national team director and chair of the USA National Team Player Selection Committee. "The committee's intention is to get a look at as many of the athletes in our pool as possible, and this gives us another chance to see more players in action."
DeShields, Griner, and Loyd will not participate in the tuneup games. Instead, Huskies alumna Tina Charles will appear against her alma mater and Cardinals great Angel McCoughtry will play opposite her former program. Layshia Clarendon, Kayla McBride, and Kelsey Plum will round out the rosters for the collegiate exhibitions.
George Washington bench boss Jennifer Rizzotti will coach alongside Reeve and Hughes for the Connecticut game. She's also an assistant on Staley's national team staff.