Brittney Griner is poised to make her return to Group USA for the primary time for the reason that Tokyo Olympics.
Griner has been named to a 16-player roster, set to take part in a coaching camp and a collection of exhibition video games subsequent month.
The roster, a mixture of established stars and rising gamers, consists of among the most distinguished hopefuls for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The ultimate 12-woman group for the Paris Olympics is anticipated to be unveiled subsequent spring, making this occasion a major alternative for gamers to showcase their abilities.
Griner hasn’t performed for Group USA in over three years
Griner’s most up-to-date involvement with the nationwide group was within the Tokyo Olympic remaining, the place she made historical past by scoring 30 factors, marking the second-highest particular person complete in U.S. ladies’s Olympic basketball historical past.
Her outstanding efficiency contributed to the USA’s triumphant 90-75 victory over Japan.
Nonetheless, Griner confronted a tumultuous interval following the Olympics.
In February 2022, she was arrested in Russia whereas touring to rejoin her Russian membership group, going through drug-related costs.
She was later convicted and sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail.
Her absence, together with that of different veteran stars, did not deter Group USA from successful the world championship final 12 months and securing their spot within the 2024 Paris Video games, the place they goal for an eighth consecutive Olympic title.
“I am by no means going abroad to play once more until I am representing my nation on the Olympics,” Griner declared in April earlier than the beginning of the WNBA season.
Now, on the age of 33, Griner has returned to her WNBA group, the Phoenix Mercury, this season. She performed 31 of the 40 video games averaging 17.5 factors and 6.3 rebounds per sport.
Group USA will function two rosters for exhibition video games
Griner’s return isn’t the one thrilling growth for USA Basketball.
5-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi will lead the Girls’s Nationwide Group within the pair of exhibition video games in November.
On November 5, they may face the Tennessee Girl Vols in Knoxville, adopted by a matchup with Duke on November 12.
Alongside the exhibitions, a coaching camp from November 7 to 9 will likely be held in Atlanta because the U.S. ladies goal for his or her eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal on the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Notably, some gamers have confronted challenges forward of the exhibitions.
A’ja Wilson is recovering from an damage, Breanna Stewart is awaiting the start of her second baby, and Chelsea Grey is on the mend from an injured foot.
The rest of the roster options proficient gamers reminiscent of Aliyah Boston, Dearica Hamby, Natasha Howard, and Arike Ogunbowale.
The group will likely be led by skilled coach Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx, who will oversee each video games and coaching camp.
Supporting her are assistant coaches Mike Thibault of the Mystics and Curt Miller of the Sparks.
Full roster in opposition to Tennessee:
Ariel Atkins, Aliyah Boston, Kahleah Copper, Allisha Grey, Brittney Griner, Rhyne Howard, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, Azur Stevens, Diana Taurasi, and Jackie Younger.
Full roster in opposition to Duke:
Kaleah Copper, Allisha Grey, Brittney Griner, Dearica Hamby, Natasha Howard, Rhyne Howard, Sabrina Ionescu, Arike Ogunbowale, Kelsey Plym, Azur Stevens, and Diana Taurasi.