USA Basketball: Women's national team announces November tour against top-ranked NCAA teams
Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will lead Team USA in these exhibition games as part of their preparations for the 2020 Olympics
Last month, USA Basketball's women's national teamat the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico. Next up for the Americans is the 2020 Olympics, where they'll be looking to win their seventh straight gold medal. Though they've already qualified for the tournament based on their victory at last year's FIBA World Cup, they aren't wasting any time getting prepared for next summer's action.
During the summer, USA Basketball announced a new training program in collaboration with the WNBA, in which a group of select national team players will be paid to stay in the United States this winter to train and prepare for the Olympics. In addition to making Team USA even better, the plan also has a stated goal of trying to build exposure for women's basketball. As such, part of the program will feature Team USA taking their talents on tour across the country.
Now, we have the details on the first stage of the expanded training program. On Wednesday afternoon, USA Basketball announced a four-game circuit in November featuring Team USA against top-ranked NCAA teams. Broadcast information has not yet been announced.
Team USA November tour schedule:
- Nov. 2: Team USA at Stanford University, 7 p.m. ET
- Nov. 4: Team USA at Oregon State University, 10 p.m. ET
- Nov. 7: Team USA at Texas A&M University, 8 p.m. ET
- Nov. 9: Team USA at Oregon University, 7 p.m. ET
Team USA will be led in these games by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, who are each veterans of the national team program, and were instrumental in putting the expanded training plan together.
"This was something that, at this point in our careers we know how important it is to have a good, last hurrah and we brainstormed with a couple other players and put together a plan," Taurasi said back in July when the plan was announced. "Carol [Callan] and Jim [Tooley] were very receptive. I think they were actually more excited about the idea than we were. It's just something that came together literally at dinner on a piece of paper with some crayons."
Joining Bird and Taurasi on the list of elite players selected to participate in this expanded training program are WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Sylvia Fowles, Chelsea Gray, Nneka Ogwumike and A'ja Wilson. At various points they will be joined by other players to fill out the roster for games and training camps. Here's a look at the roster for the November tour, with the additional players included.
Team USA November tour roster:
- Seimone Augustus -- G/F, Minnesota Lynx
- Sue Bird -- G, Seattle Storm
- Layshia Clarendon -- G, Connecticut Sun
- Napheesa Collier -- F, Minnesota Lynx
- Elena Delle Donne -- F, Washington Mystics
- Skylar Diggins-Smith -- G, Dallas Wings
- Sylvia Fowles -- C, Minnesota Lynx
- Chelsea Gray -- G, Los Angeles Sparks
- Nneka Ogwumike -- F, Los Angeles Sparks
- Kelsey Plum -- G, Las Vegas Aces
- Diana Taurasi -- G, Phoenix Mercury
- A'ja Wilson -- F/C, Las Vegas Aces
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