USA Women’s National Team To Play Australia, Spain In September Exhibition Contests
July 12, 2010 • Hartford, Conn.
In its final domestic tune-up prior to the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will host Australia and Spain in a pair of exhibition contests at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Sept. 10 and 12, USA Basketball and the XL Center today announced. The U.S. will take on defending world champion Australia on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. (all times EDT) and Spain, the No. 5-ranked women’s program in the world, on Sept. 12 (time TBD). Tickets will go on sale this Friday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. and will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com, through Ticketmaster charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and in person at the XL Center box office. Ticket prices range from $75, $50, $30, $20 and $10 respectively, additional fees may apply.
In addition to the USA exhibition games, the University of Hartford will play host to an exhibition between Australia and Spain on Sept. 11 at 2:00 p.m.
“One of the things you always want to do is to try to play some really good competition leading up to the (FIBA) World Championship,” said 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. “Usually those games are held overseas where we don’t have a lot of fans. It’s fortunate for us that we’re able to get teams of the caliber of Spain and Australia, two of the top five teams in the world, to come to Hartford and play exhibition games. I think people here in the Hartford area, in Connecticut especially, appreciate women’s basketball as much, if not more, than any other place in the country. I think those two teams will get a great reception and people will get a chance to see what we’re going to be seeing in the Czech Republic. I’m excited for our team. I’m excited for our fans. I’m excited for the city of Hartford, and I’m really appreciative of the XL Center for working with us to put that together.”
The U.S. has faced Australia 14 times in exhibition games and official FIBA events over the past decade. In addition to the USA’s victories over Australia in each of the last three Olympic gold medal games, the U.S. in 2002 defeated Australia 71-56 in the FIBA World Championship semifinal contest, and owns an 8-2 record over Australia in various exhibition games since the turn of the century.
The USA and Spain are less familiar as the teams have played each other just five times since 2000. The USA topped Spain 90-56 and 94-55 at the 2006 and 2002 FIBA World Championship, respectively, collected a pair of Olympic victories over Spain in 2004 (71-58) and 2008 (93-55), and defeated Spain 77-61 in a 2004
pre-Olympic exhibition game.
Members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team are Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Shameka Christon (Chicago Sky), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Lindsey Harding (Washington Mystics), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
The 12-member 2010 USA World Championship Team will be selected from the USA National Team pool. The make-up of the USA National Team during its two exhibition contests will be partly dependent upon who is competing in the WNBA playoffs.
Assisting Auriemma and the USA National Team through the 2010 FIBA World Championship are DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno, Los Angeles Sparks head coach Jennifer Gillom and Atlanta Dream head coach / general manager Marynell Meadors.
The USA National Team will assemble on Sept. 3 for its final training (site TBD) prior to departing for Europe to compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
The U.S. will look to capture the title at the 2010 FIBA World Championship that will be held Sept. 23 – Oct. 3 in Brno, Karlovy Vary and Ostrava, Czech Republic, with the gold medal winner earning a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games.
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 (dates and site TBD) and 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
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 gold medals (1998, 2002), one FIBA World Championship bronze medal (2006) and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal (2007).
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship has been contested essentially every four years since 1953, and the United States captured the first two gold medals before the beginning of the Soviet domination of women’s basketball was kicked-off at the 1959 World Championship. The former USSR put together a string of five straight golds (1959, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975), before the United States reclaimed gold in 1979. The Soviet Union in 1983 earned its final World Championship crown as the USA went on to capture four of the next five World Championships (1986, 1990, 1998, 2002). The only other nations to break into the gold medal column at this event are Australia, the defending world champion, and Brazil, which defeated the USA in the 1994 semifinals and went on to take the top spot that year.
The USA owns a record seven gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Championship play, while compiling an all-time 88-21 record at the event. In 2006, the most recent World Championship, the U.S. fell 75-68 to Russia in the semifinals, but rebounded to take host Brazil 99-59 in the bronze medal game and finish with an 8-1 record. Australia earned the gold after defeating Russia 91-74 in the final contest.