Delle Donne named to U.S. Olympic basketball team

NEW YORK – Elena Delle Donne added another accomplishment to her impressive career resume when she was named to the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team on Wednesday morning.

The 12-player squad was unveiled before a national TV audience on the Today Show. The U.S. has won five straight Olympic gold medals.

Delle Donne-Sky

Delle Donne, the former Delaware star, is one of three first-time Olympians on the team. Also named to the U.S. roster were Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for the selection committee, but a very positive challenge given the talented athletes in our pool,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.

“If you combine the returning 2012 Olympians with the 2014 world champions, you have 15 very qualified candidates. Add to that an emerging group of young athletes and the decision becomes that much harder to settle on a final 12-member roster. The good news is that we have developed a deep, talented pool of athletes at each position through our national team program.  We are grateful that the very best athletes in our country want to play and push each other to be better whenever our team gathers to train.”

“Obviously it’s always incredibly difficult to try to identify 12 players from a group of so many great players,” said USA and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, who has directed the USA National Team to an overall 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships.

“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 U.S. will open play against Senegal on either Aug. 6 or Aug. 7, followed by the No. 4 team from the Olympic qualifier on Aug. 8, Serbia on Aug. 10, Canada Aug. 12, and the USA concludes preliminary round play on Aug. 14 against the No. 2 team from the Olympic qualifier.

 

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