Along with Angola, another first-timer to the Olympics is the Croatian women. They’ll open their first bid for a medal in the Games against the four-time defending champions from the United States. In fact, they’ll play the Americans this weekend in exhibition action in Turkey before the Olympics begin. What a welcome to the competition for the newbies.
Croatia | Group A FIBA team profile Olympic Games history: This marks Croatia’s first Olympic women’s basketball appearance. Place at 2010 FIBA World Championship: Did not compete How they got here: 2012 FIBA World Qualifying Tournament Names you might recognize: Lisa Karcic – the native New Yorker (New Hyde Park HS) is playing for her father’s home country. She played her college basketball at Villanova, graduating in 2009. She was known for her 3-point game and scoring ability at Nova. Also, former South Carolina player Iva Sliskovic (2004-07) is on the current roster. Statistical leaders: Marija Vrsaljko – 14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg; Jelena Ivezic – 13 ppg; Sandra Mandir – 12.7 ppg and 3.3 apg; Ana Lelas – 12.3 ppg; Emanuela Salopek – 5.7 rpg; Andja Jelavic – 6.0 apg [in FIBA World Qualifying Tournament] Preliminary round schedule: vs. U.S. (July 28), vs. China (July 30), vs. Czech Republic (Aug. 1), vs. Angola (Aug. 3), vs. Turkey (Aug. 5)
[Watch the team celebrate their Olympic berth – via FIBA]