USA Basketball today announced that Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles and forward Napheesa Collier are among 12 players named to the final 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball roster. The two will join Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve who is serving as an assistant coach for the team.
This marks the sixth consecutive Olympic year in which the Lynx have been represented on the final Olympic roster with Seimone Augustus (2008, 2012, 2016), Maya Moore (2012, 2016), Katie Smith (2000, 2004, 2008) and Lindsay Whalen (2012, 2016) previously competing with Team USA.
Fowles, a 6-6 center, will be competing in her fourth consecutive Olympic Games and has earned gold with Team USA in 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro). She averaged 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in the eight contests she appeared in during the 2016 games. Fowles also captured gold at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup, where she was named MVP, 2010 FIBA World Cup and 2005 World University Games.
“I’m definitely soaking this moment up,” said Fowles. “Not everyone gets the opportunity at a chance to compete for a fourth gold medal but it’s important to not get sidetracked. We need to make sure we go in there to do what we came to do and that is to win.”
Collier, a 6-1 forward, will be competing in her first FIBA senior-level five-on-five competition but has participated in various other contests with Team USA. She won gold with Fowles at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup, where Collier started in all six contests she appeared in and averaged 6.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Additionally, she earned gold medals with 2015 FIBA U19 World Cup, 2014 Youth Olympic Games and 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Collier was named to the USA Basketball’s Women’s 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Team but was not able to participate after the event date was moved.
“I’ve been competing with USA since 2013 so making the Olympics one day was obviously a huge goal,” said Collier. “It’s a dream and an honor to now finally be here and a big milestone. I’m excited for the opportunity to compete.”
The remaining players on the final 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball roster include: Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (Washington Mystics), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury), Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces). Joining Reeve as assistant coaches will be Dan Hughes, former Seattle Storm Head Coach and Jennifer Rizzotti, Connecticut Sun President.
Chaired by USA Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee included Lynx Assistant Coach Katie Smith, who is a three-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist.
Team USA, the six-time defending Olympic gold medalists in women’s basketball, will be going for its ninth gold medal. The XXXII Olympic Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 26 – Aug. 8 at the Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan. Team USA will open Olympic preliminary round play on July 26 against 2019 FIBA Africa champion Nigeria at 11:40 p.m. (all game times listed are CDT), will face host and 2019 FIBA Asia gold medalist Japan on July 29 at 11:40 p.m., and will cap the first round with a contest against 2019 FIBA Europe silver medalist France on Aug. 1 at 11:30 p.m.
(info courtesy of Lynx)