US women’s hoops team announces 16 finalists for World Cup
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. women’s national basketball team cut its roster down to 16 finalists for the FIBA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday.
Washington’s Elena Delle Donne and Seattle’s Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart are all still competing in the WNBA Finals. Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Wednesday, and the Storm lead 2-0.
Delle Donne, Bird and Stewart were all part of the last world championship team that won gold in 2014 and were on the 2016 Olympic team.
Joining them as finalists are Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. They haven’t been part of the U.S. training camp yet but are expected to join the team when it trains in France later this week.
The only other players among the finalists with World Cup experience are Tina Charles and Nneka Ogwumike. Both played on the 2014 championship team.
Newcomers looking to make their first World Cup team are Elizabeth Williams of Atlanta; Layshia Clarendon and Morgan Tuck of Connecticut; Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell of Indiana; and A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum of Las Vegas. UConn senior Napheesa Collier was the lone college player in the final group.
Not making the final cut were Odyssey Sims, Stefanie Dolson, Diamond DeShields, Allisha Gray and Sabrina Ionescu.
“We had a great group of pool players that gave themselves a chance to be a part of the 16, but unfortunately the committee has to get that number down,” U.S. coach Dawn Staley said. “The committee has to form a team that can compete at the highest level, and the unit that they selected should help us accomplish that. I’m just looking forward to leaving the country and playing some different competition, and continuing to create a bond and build the chemistry that is needed to win the World Cup.”
The Americans will play in a four-team event in France before heading to Spain for the worlds that run from Sept. 22-30. The U.S. will play Senegal, China and Latvia in pool play.
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