Sophia Young Added To 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team
Colorado Springs, Colo. • Jan. 4, 2012
After playing five games with the USA during its 2011 European Tour, Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) has been added to the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team, from which the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected. Young’s selection to the USA National Team was made by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.
A native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Young has lived in the United States since she was 15 and gained her U.S. citizenship on Sept. 2, 2011. She started all five of the USA’s European exhibition games and averaged 8.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest.
“I am very honored to be considered among the top 27 who are in the pool,” said Young. “It’s a great opportunity, regardless of whether I get chosen or not. I feel like the tour in Europe was amazing. I had a wonderful time. When I was there I was just trying to do my best, trying to do my best to do whatever it takes to be a part of the team. I’m ecstatic that my work has paid off.”
“The thing that impressed me the most about Sophia when we went on the European Tour is how versatile she is, how easily she moves from one position to another and how well she’s able to get her shot off against players much bigger than she is,” said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “From an offensive standpoint, she was certainly impressive in that regard. Defensively, she’s versatile enough to guard both inside and perimeter players.”
A two-time All-American who helped lead Baylor University to the 2005 NCAA title, Young was selected by San Antonio as the fourth overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft. The four-time WNBA All-Star owns career averages in her six-year WNBA career of 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. A member of the 2006 WNBA All-Rookie Team and 2008 WNBA All-Defensive Team, Young is a three-time All-WNBA honoree, earning first team honors in 2008 and second team honors in 2007 and 2009.
“When you think about all the players in the WNBA, there are so many great players who can be on the USA National Team, and you look at the people who are on the national team, obviously you pick out the best of the best,” added Young. “To be among these players is great. I know that a lot of people in the WNBA would like this opportunity and so I feel very blessed that something like this can happen to me.”
In all, the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team now features a total of 27 players. In addition to Young, the team includes: Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Rebekkah Brunson (Minnesota Lynx), Swin Cash (Chicago Sky), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Shameka Christon (Chicago Sky), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Baylor University), Lindsey Harding (Atlanta Dream), Ebony Hoffman (Los Angeles Sparks), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
Four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. will look to capture a fifth straight gold medal and extend its 33-game Olympic winning streak at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The Olympic basketball competition will be held July 28-Aug. 12 in the Olympic Park Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena.
Seven countries have claimed spots in the eventual 12-nation field, including host country Great Britain; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of earning the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship; and five nations which earned the gold medal at their respective FIBA zone qualifying tournaments, including Angola (FIBA Africa), Australia (FIBA Oceania), Brazil (FIBA Americas), China (FIBA Asia) and Russia (FIBA Europe).
The final five teams will earn their spots at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (June 21-July 1 in Ankara, Turkey), which will feature 12 nations from each of the five 2011 FIBA zone qualifying tournaments as follows: two from FIBA Africa, including Mali (bronze medalists) and Mozambique (fifth-place finisher); three from FIBA Americas, including Argentina (silver medal), Canada (bronze medalist) and Puerto Rico (fifth-place finisher); two from FIBA Asia, including South Korea (silver medalist) and Japan (bronze medalist); four from FIBA Europe, including Turkey (silver medalist), France (bronze medalist), Czech Republic (fourth place) and Croatia (fifth place); and New Zealand from FIBA Oceania (silver medalist).
The official 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, expected to come from the 27-member 2012 USA National Team pool, and assistant coaches will be announced at a later date.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee is comprised of WNBA representatives Reneé Brown, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations; Dan Hughes, head coach/General Manager of the San Antonio Silver Stars; and Chief Operating Officer/General Manager of the Indiana Fever Kelly Krauskopf; athlete representative and five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards; and USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan.