Women's Basketball Preview
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team are six-time defending Olympic champions and have won eight of the past nine Olympic gold medals. Additionally, the women’s squad is seeking its seventh straight gold medal, a feat only one other traditional team sport has accomplished – U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Teams earned seven golds from 1936-1968. 

The U.S. women’s team could feature a pair of four-time Olympic gold medalists, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, who will be seeking a record fifth Olympic women’s basketball gold medal each, as well as three-time Olympian Sylvia Fowles, who is on track to go for her fourth Olympic gold. 

The U.S. women ride a 49-game winning streak into the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, boast an Olympic all-time 66-3 win-loss record and have won a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal in 10 appearances since women’s basketball was introduced to the Olympic program in 1976. The U.S. women’s 49-0 Olympic winning streak dates to the 1992 bronze medal game.

Coaching the squad is University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, who has been a member of five Olympic gold medal-winning teams. She was an athlete for three (1996-2004), an assistant coach for two (2008, 2016), and voted by all U.S. team captains in 2004 to carry the United States flag and lead the USA’s delegation into the Opening Ceremony at the Athens Games.

The Olympic women’s basketball tournament will consist of 12 nations, some of which have medaled in recent Olympic Games, while others advanced to the 2020 field for the first time in history. Spain (silver) and Serbia (bronze) joined the U.S. on the podium in 2016, and in 2012 it was France (silver) and Australia (bronze) rounding out the medalists. All four nations have qualified and are strong medal contenders in Tokyo. Nigeria, which finished in 11th place in its lone Olympic appearance in 2004, has greatly improved in recent years. The Nigerians became the first African team to advance to a FIBA world tournament medal round in 2018 when it played its way into the 2018 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals.

Updated on July 20, 2020. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Player-turned-coach: Dawn Staley, who was a three-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2000 and 2004) as an athlete and two-time assistant (2008 and 2016) for gold-medal winning teams, will become the third player-turned-head-coach in U.S. Olympic women’s basketball history, following Pat Summitt and Anne Donovan.

Expanded training & tour: The 2019-20 U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team took advantage of an expanded training program, and included five segments of training, as well as three FIBA-sanctioned events. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final two segments of training in 2020 never took place. 

Since first gathering for training camp in September 2019 ahead of the 2019 AmeriCup, the U.S. earned a combined 17-1 record, which includes a 6-0 mark and gold medal at the FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico, a 3-0 record at the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Argentina, a 3-0 mark at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia and a 5-1 slate in exhibition games against college teams. The six-game college tour in markets across the country saw a combined attendance of 51,495 fans cheering on the USA squad. Over the 18 games, 29 different national team athletes donned the red, white and blue, headed up by three-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles, who competed in each of the 18 games.

Sue Bird (Syosset, New York) and Diana Taurasi (Chino, California), who have won a combined 15 Olympic and FIBA World Cup gold medals, will be going for their fifth-straight gold medals in Tokyo and Sylvia Fowles (Miami, Florida), MVP of the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup, will be eyeing her fourth Olympic gold medal.

Look for the return of 2016 Olympic gold medalists Brittney Griner (Houston, Texas) and 2018 FIBA World Cup MVP Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, New York), who played for the first time in January 2020 after tearing her Achilles tendon in March 2019, as well as possible first time Olympians such as two-time FIBA World Cup gold medalist Nnemkadi ‘Nneka’ Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas).

The women’s team earned its 2020 Olympics berth by winning the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup. However, FIBA required the USA and host Japan to compete in the qualifying process, which is why the USA competed in the 2019 AmeriCup, 2019 Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament and 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The remaining 10 teams that emerged from the 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament were Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Serbia, South Korea and Spain. The draw to determine the Olympic preliminary round groups which was scheduled to be held March 21, 2020, has been postponed to a date TBD. 

Athletes are selected based on performance in USA Basketball Women’s National Team events and professional seasons.

USA Basketball’s team and staff selection criteria for various events can be found here.

 TBD – Olympic draws for all four tournaments (men & women, 5x5 & 3x3)
At this time, aside from the 2020 Olympics in 2021, no training dates have been finalized for the 2020-21 USA Basketball Women's National Team calendar.