Women’s Olympic Team Selected, With Notable Players Left Off

Basketball going through hoop - arena lights
Basketball going through the basket | Image by Brocreative/Shutterstock

The Team USA Women’s Basketball roster has reportedly been selected leading into the 2024 Paris Olympics, with two well-known players expected to be left off the team.

USA Basketball has yet to make the official announcement about the roster, but The Athletic’s Shams Charania received information that the 12-player roster is as follows:

  • Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx)
  • Kahleah Copper (Phoenix Mercury)
  • Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces)
  • Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)
  • Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty)
  • Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)
  • Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces)
  • Breanna Stewart (New York Liberty)
  • Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)
  • Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun)
  • A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces)
  • Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces)

Wilson will be the team’s headliner as they travel to Paris in July. She has led the WNBA in scoring and rebounding with an average of 28 points per game and 12.3 rebounds while also placing second in the league with an average of 2.6 blocks per game.

The roster will also include Taurasi, who is making her sixth Olympic appearance and has an opportunity to pass WNBA legend Sue Bird, who won five gold medals with Team USA, for the most gold medals in women’s basketball history, per Bleacher Report.

Although Team USA is heavily favored to win the gold medal during this year’s Olympic games, two well-known names within the basketball world were left off the team.

Despite USA Basketball’s website stating that the team’s goals include “promoting, growing and elevating the game at all levels,” the women’s team is not expected to include rookie sensation, Caitlin Clark.

Clark entered the WNBA as the first overall pick for the Indiana Fever and has carried over her record-breaking attendances from college to the professional league.

The 22-year-old helped break the total attendance record for Division I women’s basketball during the 2022-2023 season, with 8,784,401 fans attending games, according to the NCAA.

Since entering the league, Clark has helped draw the largest WNBA crowd in 17 years, with 20,333 fans attending a game against the Washington Mystics on Friday, per Joe Pompliano.

However, the rookie was reportedly left off the roster due to concern from within USA Basketball about how her large fanbase would react when she potentially received little playing time, according to USA Today.

Another noticeable absence from the expected roster is Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale, one of the best players in the WNBA this season.

Ogunbowale averaged 26.6 points per game through nine games to start the WNBA season, the second highest in the league behind Wilson.

These high-scoring games have also seen Ogunbowale shoot an incredible 95.2% from the free-throw line, lead the league in steals at 3.1 per game, and rank tenth for the most assists per game at 5.

While USA Basketball has not officially announced the roster, the announcement is expected to come soon for a team that has had little trouble winning the gold medal in previous years.

The Team USA Women’s Basketball team has been dominant in the Olympics, winning the gold medal nine times, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. They are currently undefeated in Olympic play since the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

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