Created: 01/13/2014 1:27 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert
Four Minnesota Lynx players have been named to the USA Basketball Women’s National team. Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and Monica Wright were named to the team Monday in a USA Basketball release.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team over the next three years will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Championship Sept. 27 - Oct. 5 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games. If the USA qualifies, the team will compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games Aug. 5 - 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Only 12 players will make up the final roster and compete at the FIBA World Championship.
“I think the game has changed tremendously and we are fortunate that the pool is probably greater than it’s ever been,” said Geno Auriemma, 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “The gap between those that have won gold medals and those that are still playing for the USA Basketball National Team and those that want to be part of it who are younger and have made a name for themselves is narrowing every year. I’m excited that we have so many great players to choose from.
“It’s always difficult when you’re trying to put together a team. It doesn’t always come down to picking the 12 best players, putting them on the team and let’s go,” he said. “I think there are other factors that go into it, and hopefully the committee and the coaches can come up with a team that is capable of winning gold medals and represents the U.S. in the best possible manner.”
Augustus, who missed the 2010 FIBA World Championship due to injury, has been playing for USA Basketball since 2003, but has never won a FIBA title.
“It would mean I've overcome every struggle and obstacle that was placed in my way,” she said of winning the title. “I've grown both mentality and physically as a player, and am now presented with another potential opportunity to represent my country and accomplish something that I've never accomplished in my basketball career.”
Whalen and Wright said the national team’s Player Selection Committee will have a hard time narrowing down the roster.
“You have a great blend of size, quickness, skill, shooting and physicality that will really make it hard for the committee to decide on 12 players to represent the country,” Whalen said. “As a player in the group, I am just honored to be mentioned with all of those talented players.”
“There are a wide variety of players on the roster with many different skills sets, but all world class talented athletes, so honestly it's going to be extremely difficult for the committee,” Wright added. “I'm sure it is always.”
The Lynx are coming off their second WNBA title in three years.