January 25, 2021 

Inside USA Basketball Women’s National Team return to the court

Nineteen athletes are set to return to the court Feb. 4-7 for training camp

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Brittney Griner, A’ja Wilson, Ariel Atkins and Skylar Diggins-Smith. (photo courtesy of USA Basketball)

The USA Basketball Women’s National Team has announced that it will return to the court in a four-day minicamp, which is set to take place Feb. 4-7 at the University of South Carolina. The team hasn’t held a training camp since February 2020.

There will be mandatory and regular COVID-19 testing administered to participating athletes, coaches, officials and staff in accordance with FIBA and USAB recommendations and CDC guidelines.

A total of 19 athletes will gather at the minicamp, including Olympic/FIBA World Cup gold medalists and USA National Team members.

On the sidelines, USA and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will be joined by WNBA head coaches Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm) and Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx). Lisa Boyer (University of South Carolina) and Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings) will also serve as court coaches during the camp. Staley is looking forward to seeing the national team back on the hardwood.

“It’s been a year since we’ve been together for a training camp, and I’m excited to step back on the court with the USA National Team. We’ve got a great mix of veteran leadership and younger players, most of whom know how I run practices, and I anticipate we’ll have four extremely competitive days of practice here in South Carolina … It will be incredibly helpful in our preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.”

The team will train each day beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Due to COVID-19 protocols, no media or guests will be allowed to view practices, but USA Basketball will provide media with images and video for editorial use daily. Select athletes will also be available via video conference each day to assist with media coverage for the camp. This video schedule will be finalized before training kicks off.

Before the 2020 Olympics were postponed, the 2019-20 USANT boasted a combined 17-1 record, which includes a 3-0 stretch at the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia, a 3-0 mark at the 2019 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Argentina, a 5-1 run in exhibition games in 2019 and 2020 and a 6-0 mark and gold medal at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico.

The 2020 Olympics, which will see 12 women’s basketball teams going for gold, are set to take place from July 23-Aug. 8, 2021 after being postponed last summer. The USA women hold a 66-3 all-time Olympic record and have won the last six Olympic gold medals.

The Olympic team will be selected from the USANT pool, which currently lists 36 of the nation’s top players. In addition to the above roster, this includes:

  • From Atlanta Dream: Elizabeth Williams, Tiffany Hayes

  • From Connecticut Sun: Jasmine Thomas

  • From Las Vegas Aces: Angel McCoughtry, Kayla McBride

  • From Los Angeles Sparks: Brittney Sykes, Chiney Ogwumike, Seimone Augustus

  • From Minnesota Lynx: Odyssey Sims

  • From New York Liberty: Asia Durr, Layshia Clarendon

  • From Phoenix Mercury: Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith

  • From Seattle Storm: Jordin Canada, Morgan Tuck, Sue Bird

  • From Washington Mystics: Elena Delle Donne, Tina Charles

Written by Sydney Olmstead

Pac-12 and Las Vegas Aces reporter.

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