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U.S. Olympic women's basketball roster revealed on 'TODAY'

U.S. Olympic women's basketball roster revealed on 'TODAY'
Posted at 7:31 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 14:55:17-04

After much anticipation, the United States Olympic women's basketball roster is finally here.

The roster, unveiled Monday morning on NBC's TODAY show, features a pair of four-time Olympic gold medalists in Sue Bird and Diani Taurasi, along with several other former Olympians.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/usabasketball/status/1406968234155282437

Bird, 40, and Taurasi, 39, have been the cornerstones of Team USA's dominance in women's basketball since debuting at the Olympics in 2004. They're two of the greatest players in WNBA history, and despite their age, both remain consistently effective players on the court in the best women's basketball league in the world. Just last season, Bird set a new career-high field goal percentage of .494 while helping guide the Seattle Storm to its fourth WNBA championship.

Joining Bird on Team USA will be her teammate Breanna Stewart, who won Finals MVP for the second time in her career after finishing the postseason averaging 25.7 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. This will be Stewart's second trip to the Olympics after playing a key role for the U.S. in Rio.

Sylvia Fowles is another Olympic veteran looking to add to her medal count. The 35-year-old Miami native already has three gold medals under her belt, and the two-time WNBA champion and former league MVP is sure to serve as a suitable mentor for WNBA teammate and 2019 Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier, who will be making her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

A notable absence from Team USA is Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne, a two-time WNBA MVP, helped Team USA win gold in Rio and at the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Spain. However, due to a pair of surgeries to her back, a trip to the Tokyo Games was largely unrealistic as there is still no timetable for her return to the court.

A pair of her Mystics teammates, Ariel Atkins and Tina Charles, will be headed to Japan, though. This will be Charles' third trip to the Olympics after having won gold in London and Rio. Atkins, meanwhile, will be making her Olympic debut. The 24-year-old is one of the brightest young stars in the WNBA after already having won a title, as well as being named to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team three years running.

The full Olympic women's basketball roster is as follows: Ariel Atkins, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Napheesa Collier, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Sylvia Fowles, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi and A’ja Wilson.

The Olympic women's basketball tournament is scheduled to kick off on Monday, July 26 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

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