USA Basketball Announces Women's Basketball Team For 2016 Olympics
Head coach Geno Auriemma said, "A lot more than 12 players could easily have been named to that team."
The U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team was announced Wednesday for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 12-woman roster will be coached by UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, who was the assistant coach of the U.S. Women's Basketball Team in the 2000 and coach at the 2012 Olympics.
The 2016 team is as follows:
Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, Angel McCoughtry, Tina Charles, Lindsay Whalen, Sylvia Fowles, and Seimone Augustus.
All members of the 2016 team play for the WNBA, though recent UConn-grad Breanna Stewart has yet to play a game for the Seattle Storm.
USA Basketball says team captains are Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Tamika Catchings, each of whom is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
A notable exclusion from the roster is Los Angeles Sparks player Candace Parker, who played in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Parker told the AP she was "surprised and disappointed" by the exclusion.
In a statement head coach Auriemma said the selection process was especially difficult this year due to an abundance of talent:
"Obviously it's always incredibly difficult to try to identify 12 players from a group of so many great players. The committee had a really difficult job this year, because it's the first time in a long time that a lot more than 12 players could easily have been named to that team. But the 12 that were named are a great combination of Olympic gold-medal experience, multiple gold medal winners and great leaders."
The team appeared on the TODAY show Wednesday morning to announce the roster.
The 2016 Olympic Games begin August 5 in Rio.