Gamecocks' Wilson named to USA Basketball National Pool
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina senior A'ja Wilson is one of 29 players named to the 2017-20 USA Basketball Women's National Team pool.
Selected players from this group will compete on the 2018 USA World Cup Team. Among those in the pool are 13 Olympic and/or FIBA World Cup gold medalists including Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.
"Anytime you can assemble the best players in our country together in one place, it always is an incredible thing," USA Women's Basketball head coach Dawn Staley said. "I think USA Basketball has done a great job of making things convenient for everyone in bringing people together in a place in which, I think everyone who comes will be pleasantly surprised at what Columbia has to offer and what our university has to offer. It's a tremendous time that will be spent wisely and it'll be enjoyable."
Wilson is one of five collegiate named to the national team pool. Joining her in the team pool from the collegiate ranks are Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, Connecticut's Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, and Louisville's Asia Durr.
"This is a very talented group, from four-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, to the younger players who are hoping to compete in their first USA National Team competition," said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women's National Team director and chair of the USA Women's National Team Player Selection Committee. "As we looked toward the future, the committee first had to look at the past. We acknowledged that what has made the USA National Team program such a resounding success over the past two decades was the way our teams have seamlessly blended youth with veteran leadership. And because of that, we wanted to make sure we continued with that recipe in building a team. We can't say enough about the veterans, we win simply because our best players want to play over and over again."
Wilson, other collegiate members of the pool, and players competing professionally in Asia will not be available to participate in the camp.
"The practice times will more than likely be during the times in which she has class," Staley said. "But, if she doesn't have class, I will want her to sit front and center to see how the Olympians, the two-, three-, four-time Olympians, how they operate, how they practice and how they approach things. It might not be a bad thing for our entire thing to witness, for them to see our country's best athletes coming together and practicing and gear up to play."
Team USA will train in Columbia at Carolina Coliseum Feb. 9-11 Members of the final roster will be announced will be announced at a later date.
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