The U.S. Olympic women's basketball team is going for its seventh straight gold medal in Tokyo, and now we know who will be working to make that happen.
USA Basketball announced the roster for the women's national team on Monday, and it's filled with old favorites and new faces, providing an unparalleled mix of veteran experience and fresh young talent.
Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics, 1st Olympics
Sue Bird, Seattle Storm, 5th Olympics
Tina Charles, Washington Mystics, 3rd Olympics
Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx, 1st Olympics
Skylar Diggins-Smith, Phoenix Mercury, 1st Olympics
Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx, 4th Olympics
Chelsea Gay, Las Vegas Aces, 1st Olympics
Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury, 2nd Olympics
Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm, 1st Olympics
Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm, 2nd Olympics
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury, 5th Olympics
A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces, 1st Olympics
The video that goes along with the roster announcement is fittingly epic.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 21, 2021
Bird and Taurasi are the longest-tenured members of the team. Tokyo will be their fifth Olympics, and if they help the women's team win their seventh consecutive gold medal, they'll be the first basketball players of any gender to win five Olympic gold medals.
Coaching the team is the great Dawn Staley, who played for the U.S. national team in 1996 (when it started its gold medal streak), 2000 and 2004, and was an assistant in 2008 and 2016.
“USA Basketball has never been in a better place,” Staley said in a statement. "The fact that some of the players who won’t suit up this summer would start for any other country is a testament to their talent and to what USA Basketball has done to build a program that lifts up our female athletes every single day."
Staley, who also coaches at South Carolina, may be under consideration for one of the numerous head coaching positions that are currently open in the NBA.
The U.S. women's national team is 66-3 in the Olympics. It won its last 49 Olympic games, a streak that dates back to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The team will have its first opportunity to extend that streak on July 27, when it's scheduled to take on Nigeria in the Group B preliminary round.
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