In the pursuit of a seventh straight Olympic gold medals, Team USA has unveiled its women’s basketball roster, and it’s loaded with many of the sport’s most dominant athletes.
Leading the team on the court will be now-five-time Olympians Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer and eighth-leading scorer, respectively, hoping to win their fifth straight gold medals.
Also joining the roster will be former WNBA MVPs A’ja Wilson, Sylvia Fowles, Breanna Stewart. And that’s just the start of the star-studded roster for the Americans.
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All this amounts to a team that looks like it should help coach Dawn Staley win her first Olympic gold as a head coach after she won three as a player in 1996, 2000 and 2004 — the first three of the current six-in-a-row run Team USA is on — and in 2016 as an assistant coach under Geno Auriemma.
USA Olympic women’s basketball roster
The roster is comprised of several returning members to Team USA and a few WNBA stars making their first appearances on the team.
Taurasi and Bird will each be making their fifth appearances on the team. Should Team USA win gold, they would make history as the only basketball players — male or female — to win five gold medals at the Olympics.
The second-most experience goes to Fowles, who will be on her fourth Olympic team. Tina Charles will be on her third and Brittney Griner and Stewart will be on their second.
The remainder of the roster is comprised of first-time stars in Ariel Atkins, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd, Chelsea Gray, Napheesa Collier and Wilson.
Here’s a full breakdown of the roster:
- Tina Charles (Mystics)
- Sylvia Fowles (Lynx)
- Brittney Griner (Mercury)
- Napheesa Collier (Lynx)
- Breanna Stewart (Storm)
- A’ja Wilson (Aces)
- Ariel Atkins (Mystics)
- Sue Bird (Storm)
- Skylar Diggins-Smith (Mercury)
- Chelsea Gray (Aces)
- Jewell Loyd (Storm)
- Diana Taurasi (Mercury)
Who are the coaches?
Dawn Staley helped kick off this run of gold medals for Team USA, and now at the helm of the coaching staff, she’s aiming to keep it going.
The current Gamecocks’ women’s basketball head coach rounds out her coaching staff with former Storm head coach Dan Hughes, Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve and Sun president Jennifer Rizzotti.
Who qualifies for the Olympics?
The field is already set with the 12 teams that will play in the 2021 Summer Olympics.
In Group A, the teams will be South Korea, Serbia, Canada and Spain; Nigeria, Japan, France and the United States will be in Group B; and Group C will have Australia, Puerto Rico, China and Belgium.
From there, the teams in each group will start in the group phase in matches starting on July 26 and 27 before the brackets will be drawn up on Aug. 3 with quarterfinals to be played on Aug. 4. The winners will then move on to the semifinals on Aug. 6 and eventually the finals, which will be held on Aug. 8. The two losers in the semifinals will play on Aug. 7 in the bronze medal game.