USA Basketball Women's National Team Opens Training In D.C.
Sept. 30, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
The USA Basketball Women's National Team opened its six-day training camp Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The 2009 USA National Team's fall training camp roster lists 19 athletes, including six Olympic gold medalists and five members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team, will be attending the training camp.
'I don't think there was anything really surprising (at the first practice) other than reiterating what I already believe in the sense that I knew how competitive these guys would be; they're all really good offensive players; they all want to be good defensive players; and I was pleasantly surprised with how receptive they were; and how they listened; how they paid attention; want to learn; want to get better; and want to do things right. But again, I think that's why they were invited. If they weren't like that they wouldn't be invited,' said USA and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.
Following practice Wednesday, the USA National Team signed autographs at the MLB Washington Nationals final home game of the season. They also will visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Clinic on Thursday; host an open practice for members of the military and their families, followed by a clinic for children whose parents are in the military at Walter Reed on Saturday. The USA's training camp will be highlighted by the 2009 USA Basketball National Team Fall Showcase at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, Oct. 4. The USA Fall Showcase will include team drills, an intrasquad scrimmage, a question and answer session with Auriemma and a post-practice autograph session with selected players.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Women's National Team 2009 Fall Showcase are $5.00 and available by calling 202-885-TIXX or online at www.AUeagles.com. Children age six and under will be admitted free of charge.
Two-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); as well as '08 gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) were named to the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team on Aug. 17.
Named to the USA training camp roster on Sept. 22 were: Jayne Appel (Stanford / Pleasant Hill, Calif.); Alana Beard (Washington Mystics); Swin Cash (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.); Shameka Christon (New York Liberty); Candice Dupree (Chicago Sky); Lindsey Harding (Washington Mystics); Ebony Hoffman (Indiana Fever); Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun); Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Maya Moore (Connecticut / Lawrenceville, Ga.); Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut Sun); and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
Appel, Augustus, Beard, Lawson and Whalen are injured, however, they are attending the training camp. Catchings, Hoffman, Pondexter and Taurasi are competing in the WNBA Finals and are unable to attend the training camp.
Auriemma is heading up the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team and is being assisted through the 2010 FIBA World Championship by DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno and Minnesota Lynx head coach Jennifer Gillom.
The U.S. will continue to hold daily practices at American University's Bender Arena on Oct. 1, 2 and 5. The USA will hold its open practice for members of the military and their families at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Oct. 3 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Wagner Gym. USA team practices are open to credentialed personnel only.
Following the six-day domestic training camp, selected players will travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where the USA will compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. In addition to the Russian professional team UMMC Ekaterinburg, also competing in the tournament will be Euroleague professional teams MKB Euroleasing Sopron from Hungary and USK Praha from the Czech Republic.
As was the case over the last quadrennium, the USA team will be fluid and athletes will be added progressively to the 2009-12 USA National Team. It is expected that the official 12-member 2010 USA World Championship and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify for the Olympics, will be comprised of players from the 2009-12 USA National Team.
In the past dozen years, the highly successful USA Basketball Women's National Team program, ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA, has posted a 63-1 slate in major international competitions, winning four consecutive Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008), two FIBA World Championship golds (1998, 2002), one FIBA World Championship bronze medal (2006) and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal (2007).
The USA Basketball Women's National Team will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 23 - Oct. 3 in the Czech Republic); if necessary the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD); and if the USA qualifies, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (July 26-Aug. 12 in London, England), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
The U.S. will first look to capture the title at the 16th FIBA World Championship, with an automatic berth to the 2012 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in '10, it would have two additional chances to qualify for the Olympics: the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament and 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).