All-Stars. MVPs. WNBA champions. Olympic champions. World Cup champions.
You name it, Team USA’s got it.
On Thursday, USA Basketball unveiled the 29 members of the 2017-20 women’s national team player pool, expected to be the players who will make up the rosters at the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Among those 29 are 13 Olympic and/or World Cup champions, including all but one of the players from the team that won gold at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The lone absence is Tamika Catchings, who retired after the Games.
Keeping that group as intact as possible is obviously huge as the Americans went undefeated in Rio, winning their sixth consecutive gold medal and eighth overall.
Leading the way will be the last four WNBA MVPs in Sylvia Fowles, Nneka Ogwumike, Elena Delle Donne and Maya Moore. Past MVP Diana Taurasi and 10-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird are four-time Olympians looking to make their record fifth appearance in 2020.
Also on display will be some of the top young talent in the U.S. Five collegiate players are on the squad, including 2017 AAC Player of the Year Napheesa Collier from UConn and All-ACC First Team guard Asia Durr of Louisville. Collier also won gold in the 3-on-3 tournament at the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014.
National team head coach Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic champion, will get a first look at her players on the court at a February minicamp at the University of South Carolina. From there, the team will continue its preparations for the world cup in Spain Sept. 22-30.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.