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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Workforce USA girls’s basketball roster 2024: Caitlin Clark, Arike Ogunbowale amongst greatest snubs from Olympic group

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The 2024 Olympics are set to start in slightly below two months in Paris. The ladies’s basketball event is certain to have loads of consideration on it when the groups arrive in Europe. Workforce USA is as soon as once more the favourite, and the People might be on the lookout for an eighth consecutive gold medal. 

Contemplating the depth of expertise and the restricted spots, Workforce USA’s Olympic squad is arguably the toughest basketball group to make on the earth. Heading into the summer season, one of many greatest questions was whether or not Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 general decide within the 2024 WNBA Draft, would make the minimize. 

The reply is not any. Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Christine Brennan of USA Immediately reported that Clark wouldn’t make the journey to Paris, and David Eickholt of 247Sports confirmed the information a short time later. On Saturday morning, The Athletic reported the total roster.

Napheesa Collier

Minnesota Lynx

Ahead

2020

Kahleah Copper

Phoenix Mercury

Guard/Ahead

None

Chelsea Grey

Las Vegas Aces

Guard

2020

Brittney Griner

Phoenix Mercury

Middle

2016, 2020

Sabrina Ionescu

New York Liberty

Guard

None

Jewell Loyd

Seattle Storm

Guard

2020

Kelsey Plum

Las Vegas Aces

Guard

None

Breanna Stewart

New York Liberty

Ahead

2016, 2020

Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury

Guard

2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020

Alyssa Thomas

Connecticut Solar

Ahead

None

A’ja Wilson

Las Vegas Aces

Ahead/Middle

2020

Jackie Younger

Las Vegas Aces

Guard/Ahead

2020 (3×3 group)

With a roster like that, it is arduous to make many criticisms. 

You’ll be able to quibble with Taurasi nonetheless taking a spot at 41 years previous, however she’s earned the precise to be there via her dedication to this system. Chelsea Grey’s inclusion is one other slight query mark contemplating she hasn’t performed a recreation in eight months as a result of a foot damage, however she’s the most effective level guard on the earth. If she’s wholesome come July, she needs to be on the group. If not, you may all the time title an alternate. 

That being stated, there are a selection of gamers who could make a legitimate case that they deserved to be on the Olympic roster. Listed below are among the greatest snubs for Workforce USA:

Ariel Atkins — G, Mystics

Atkins will not be the largest title, nor has she been enjoying her greatest basketball this summer season. Nonetheless, she has been a current mainstay in this system, profitable gold medals with Workforce USA on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and 2022 World Cup in Australia. She’s additionally probably the greatest perimeter defenders on the earth. The issue for Atkins is that the backcourt pool is extraordinarily deep and she or he’s off to a tricky begin this summer season. By 11 video games, she’s taking pictures a career-low 30.0% from behind the arc. 

Caitlin Clark — G, Fever

Clark was vying to be the fifth rookie ever to make the Olympic roster, becoming a member of Taurasi, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker and Stewart. She’s essentially the most controversial exclusion — not less than on social media. Whereas she’s on tempo to be the fifth participant in WNBA historical past to common not less than 15 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for a season, and is fourth within the league in assists and second in made 3s, she’s additionally been turnover susceptible and struggled at instances to take care of the physicality. 

Plus, there are a selection of extra skilled guards forward of her within the pecking order. Moreover, in accordance with Brennan, a part of the rationale she did not make the minimize is that USA Basketball veterans had “concern about how Clark’s thousands and thousands of followers would react to what would probably be restricted enjoying time on a stacked roster.” Regardless of the remaining reasoning, there isn’t any query Clark might be a staple on the Olympic group beginning in 2028. 

Skylar Diggins-Smith — G, Storm

For all her expertise, you’d count on Diggins-Smith to have a couple of Olympic gold medal, however she did not make her debut till Tokyo. That, it seems, could also be her lone look. The 33-year-old is without doubt one of the few energetic gamers from that group to not make the minimize for Paris, and actually was not even included on the April coaching camp squad. That will have extra to do together with her private scenario than something. She missed all of final season on maternity depart, and can probably benefit from the break together with her household. 

Dearica Hamby — F, Sparks

USA Basketball has a lot expertise to select from in this system that it is primarily not possible for gamers who weren’t beforehand within the combine to pressure their manner on to the group with excellent play. If there was going to be one this cycle, it will have been Dearica Hamby. The veteran ahead has been immense for the Sparks, and is averaging career-highs throughout the board with 20.6 factors, 11.6 rebounds and three.5 assists per recreation on 54.9% taking pictures. 

Arike Ogunbowale — G, Wings

Ogunbowale has all the time been simply on the surface, trying in with regards to Workforce USA. She’s attended loads of coaching camps, performed in exhibition video games and took part within the 2020 Pre-Olympic Qualifying Event, however has by no means made the ultimate roster for the World Cup or Olympics. That did not change this 12 months, and she or he is arguably the largest snub of all. By the primary three weeks of the season, she’s second within the league in scoring at 26.6 factors per recreation, and is averaging career-highs with 5 assists and three.1 steals per recreation. 

Nneka Ogwumike — F, Storm

Followers could also be questioning why Ogwumike wasn’t within the combine regardless of her continued excellence, so it is price explaining her scenario even when she is not a real snub. After being left off the group for the Tokyo Olympics in shock style, Ogwumike (alongside together with her sister, Chiney, and veteran ahead Elizabeth Williams), utilized to play for Workforce Nigeria as an alternative. FIBA denied the request, as did the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport. Given how that saga unfolded, its unlikely we’ll ever see Ogwumike in a USA jersey once more. 

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