Caitlin Clark Not Selected For US Olympic Basketball Team Roster, WNBA Rookie Will Miss Paris

Zinger Key Points
  • NY Times pointed to the preference for a 'veteran team.' Calls U.S. women’s basketball team 'strongest collection' of talent in the world.
  • The U.S. team includes five-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi and her Phoenix Mercury teammate Brittney Griner.

Despite her rising stardom and impressive accomplishments, USA Basketball has decided not to include Caitlin Clark on its 12-player roster for the women's competition in Paris, reported ESPN Saturday, citing various sources.

The U.S. has won gold in women's basketball at every Olympics since 1996, and they are heavily favored to win again in Paris.

Why Was Clark Not Chosen?

The Athletic pointed to the preference for a “veteran team,” adding that the U.S. women's basketball team is the "strongest collection of basketball talent in the world. Many of them have played together in the WNBA or in Olympic cycles."

Having just finished her college season, Clark has never participated at a senior national team camp. Though she was one of 14 players to earn an invitation to USA Basketball's pre-Olympics training camp in Cleveland Ohio this past April, she was unable to attend because she was playing with Iowa in the Final Four. Attending the training camp is not required for selection, but it typically plays a role in the selection committee's roster decisions.

The Athletic implied that Clark's lack of experience creates questions about how she'd fit in on the court at the Olympics.

The U.S. will take five-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi for a sixth Olympics run. Taurasi, who is turning 42, will be joined by Phoenix Mercury teammate Brittney Griner.

Griner's First Time Abroad After Russian Prison Ordeal

This will be Griner’s first time playing internationally since she was detained for cannabis possession in Russia where she played for several years during the off-season. Griner spent 10 months in prison and was released on Dec. 8, 2022, in exchange for Russian arms dealer and Putin ally Viktor Bout. Once finally home, Griner said she would only play overseas with USA Basketball.

Joining Griner and Taurasi will be Olympic veterans Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd and Chelsea Gray. Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, who helped the U.S. win the inaugural 3×3 gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021 will also be on the team.

The team will play Japan in its Olympics opener on July 29, with the gold medal game scheduled for Aug. 11.

Photo: Shutterstock

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