The USA women national team will continue preparations in its quest for a seventh-straight Olympic gold medal as participants in the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Feb. 6-9 but won’t let down her guards.
Having fought hard against Nigeria before eliminationg the African champions at the quarter final stage of the FIBA Women World Cup held in Tenerife, France, 2018, they are not willing to take chances against any of the three teams.
The U.S. was drawn into the Belgrade, Serbia, group A and will face host Serbia on Feb. 6, followed by Mozambique on Feb. 8 and Nigeria on Feb. 9. The top two finishing teams, aside from the Americans who have already earned a spot in the 2020 Olympic women’s basketball field, will earn an Olympic berth.
Competing in the games in Serbia will be: Bird, Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky/Tennessee), Diggins-Smith, Fowles, Gray, Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury/Baylor), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm/Notre Dame), Ogwumike, Stewart, Taurasi and Wilson.
“We’re excited to compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade,” added Callan. “The new competition system gives us opportunities to play against quality international teams in order for our team to continue in its preparation for Tokyo. The committee’s intention is to get a look at as many of the athletes in our pool as possible, and this gives us another chance to see more players in action.”
Past USA Basketball teams ahead of the 1996, 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games competed against collegiate teams, and over the course of those three tours, the USA earned a 39-1 record competing against a combined total of 30 different NCAA Division I teams.
The final FIBA segment is the February competition in which a total of 16 teams will compete in the four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments held in China, Belgium, France and Serbia. The USA, by virtue of winning the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, and host Japan already have secured berths into the 2020 tournament. The remaining 10 teams will qualify through the four tournaments.
Winners of the past six Olympic gold medals, the USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal, while compiling an all-time 66-3 record in Olympic play since women’s basketball was first introduced to the Olympic program in 1976.