UConn senior All-Americans Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley, junior All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and star sophomore Breanna Stewart are among 33 players that have accepted invitations to compete at the U.S. Women’s National Team mini-camp at the Cox Pavilion practice gym on the campus of UNLV Oct. 4-6, USA Basketball announced today.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma is in his second term as the head coach of the National Team. Players competing in the WNBA Finals will be unable to attend the training camp.
Notre Dame All-American Kayla McBride, Baylor All-American Odyssey Sims and Maryland All-American Alyssa Thomas are the only other current college players on the list. Former UConn All-Americans Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, both three-time Olympic gold medalists, Tina Charles and Maya Moore, who won gold in London in 2012, have also accepted invitations.
“The Committee did a great job of identifying players for this camp,’’ Auriemma said. “First, you have some who have helped us already win world championships and gold medals at the Olympics and those who certainly we need to take a look at to prepare for the future. Ideally you would love to have a team that is comprised of enough veteran leadership, enough young players with experience and enough young players who might be there for the first time. Within this group we have a mixture of all of those.’’
Invitations to attend training camp were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee, which consists of USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan; WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Reneé Brown, San Antonio Silver Stars general manager/head coach Dan Hughes, Connecticut Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko and three-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Championship gold medalist Katie Smith, who competed in nearly 200 games for USA Basketball from 1993-2008 and serves as the athlete representative.
The U.S. National Team training camp roster features 32 players that have previously competed for USA Basketball internationally and 17 members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team: Jayne Appel, Seimone Augustus, Bird, Tamika Catchings, Charles, Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Lindsey Harding, Angel McCoughtry, Moore, Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Taurasi, Courtney Vandersloot, Lindsay Whalen and Sophia Young.
The Committee will use the camp to identify athletes for the 2013-16 USA National Team pool. The 2014 FIBA World Championship will be held in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey Sept. 27 – Oct. 5, while the 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aug. 5-21.
“I think what the Committee did, which I think is interesting, there are a lot of young WNBA players who are on the list, and with an eye toward the future there are players who have excelled at the college level already and who have also excelled at USA Basketball at a young age, who three years from now, four years from now, are going to be WNBA players,’’ Auriemma said. “So, it’s great to get a head start to see where the future really lies. I think that’s one thing USA Basketball has always been great at, preparing for the future. This is another great example of that.’’
Here is the complete list of players …
Elena Delle Donne