12 in '12: U.S. Women's Basketball Team
By Brandon Penny
August 10, 2010 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
The 12 in ’12 series celebrates the fact that the London 2012 Olympic Games are less than two years away. The series previews 12 athletes who have proven themselves as true competitors in past Games and look to win medals for the USA in London. The 10th part of the series features the USA Basketball women’s national team, specifically Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings, who earned Olympic gold medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games.
Six Olympic gold medals. Seven FIBA World Championship gold medals.
The USA has always been dominant internationally in women’s basketball. It is only natural, considering the sport was born and developed in the United States. Since the FIBA World Championship began in 1953, the U.S. has won seven of 15 gold medals, more than any other nation. The USA Women’s National Team has been even more successful at the Olympic Games, earning gold at six of the eight Games the team entered. Now that some of the team’s most recognizable players have retired, the current women’s national team is made up of a few veterans and several rookies who will look to uphold the nation’s reputation and earn a fifth consecutive gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The success that the U.S. women’s national team has found on both the World and Olympic stages is unprecedented.
“I think it just says a lot about the talent level in the U.S. and I think it starts at an early age for us,” said Sue Bird, 2009-12 USA Women’s National Team member.
Bird played basketball at a young age because role model and older sister, Jen, was always staying active. Bird started playing Amateur Athletic Union Basketball when she was in the sixth grade. In high school, she was awarded the title of New York State Player of the Year and named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-American.
“There’s been so many great youth programs,” Bird said. “So many young girls are playing basketball right now and we just seem to develop ..." READ MORE