Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and forward Candice Dupree were selected to a field of 21 finalists in the mix for the 2012 U.S. Womens Olympic basketball team roster, USA Basketball announced today.
Now that were down to 21 finalists, you look around and you see a group of players that have tremendous experience, said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. (We have) players that have won (Olympic) gold medals, won World Championships, there are WNBA champions on the list, players that have won in Europe in international competition. Youve got a group of players that have experienced everything there is to experience and as a coach, as someone whos been around these players, I couldnt be happier with this group. They represent the best of what the United States has to offer.
The other finalists include:
-- center Jayne Appel and forward Sophia Young of the San Antonio Silver Stars.
-- forward Seimone Augustus, forward Rebekkah Brunson, forward Maya Moore, guard Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx.
-- guard Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm.
-- forward Swin Cash and center Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky.
-- forward Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever.
-- center Tina Charles, forward Asjha Jones, guard Kara Lawson and guard Renee Montgomery of the Connecticut Sun.
-- center Brittney Griner of Baylor University.
-- guard Lindsey Harding and forward Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream.
-- forward Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks.
-- guard Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty.
Taurasi, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, joins Bird and Catchings as the only finalists who were also on the Gold medal-winning teams in 2004 and 2008. Dupree also joined Taurasi on the 20120 World Championship Team, which earned the USAs London Olympic berth by virtue of claiming the 10 FIBA World Championships.
Auriemma will be assisted in the USAs quest for a gold medal by DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno, Washington Mystics assistant coach and former Mercury player Jennifer Gillom and Atlanta Dream head coach Marynell Meadors.