The 12th and final roster spot for the four-time defending Olympic champions has been set with the announcement of Asjha Jones nabbing the last spot on the United States’ squad.
Jones joins 11 other previously selected candidates and the 10-year WNBA veteran will be competing on her first Olympic squad.
“It was kind of like I was in disbelief and shock,” Jones said about hearing the news (in USA Basketball’s release). “I kind of put the Olympics out of my head because I didn’t think I was going to be on the team. First I was surprised that Carol (Callan) was even calling me. Then when I answered and she told me the news, I was very surprised, very shocked. I was really, really honored to be picked up.”
Jones, who played her college career at Connecticut, will be reunited on the sidelines with a bevy of former Huskies. In fact, six of the 12 women played basketball at UConn and will be playing under head coach Geno Auriemma again, only this time with USA emblazoned on their chest.
“I’m excited,” said Auriemma. “I think it’s well deserved. She adds an awful lot of maturity, experience and talent to this team. Some of the teams that we’re going to have to beat in the Olympics, the best teams are really the ones who have the most experienced post players. Asjha has proven herself both in the WNBA and overseas to be able to defend anybody and to be able to score. She’s got experience. All of the things you would look for in a player, she has those qualities. So, when we’re looking at who that 12th player was, having somebody with Asjha’s experience and certainly what she’s done overseas, especially this year, has given us a lot of comfort knowing that we have somebody who can really compliment the other post players who have already been named.”
The final roster is dotted by champions – in college, in the Olympics, in the WNBA and abroad. The 12 women representing the United States this Olympic season are:
5 Seimone Augustus F 6-0 168 04/30/84 Minnesota Lynx Louisiana State Baton Rouge, LA
6 Sue Bird G 5-9 150 10/16/80 Seattle Storm Connecticut Syosset, NY
11 Swin Cash F 6-1 162 09/22/79 Chicago Sky Connecticut McKeesport, PA
10 Tamika Catchings F 6-1 167 07/21/79 Indiana Fever Tennessee Duncanville, TX
14 Tina Charles C 6-4 198 12/05/88 Connecticut Sun Connecticut Jamaica, NY
13 Sylvia Fowles C 6-6 200 10/06/85 Chicago Sky Louisiana State Miami, FL
9 Asjha Jones F 6-3 196 08/01/80 Connecticut Sun Connecticut Piscataway, NJ
8 Angel McCoughtry F 6-1 160 09/10/86 Atlanta Dream Louisville Baltimore, MD
7 Maya Moore F 6-0 170 06/11/89 Minnesota Lynx Connecticut Lawrenceville, GA
15 Candace Parker F/C/G 6-4 175 04/19/86 Los Angeles Sparks Tennessee Naperville, IL
12 Diana Taurasi G/F 6-0 165 06/11/82 Phoenix Mercury Connecticut Chino, CA
4 Lindsay Whalen G 5-9 169 05/09/82 Minnesota Lynx Minnesota Hutchinson, MN
The women will begin training for the Olympics on May 11th, in Seattle, Wash. An exhibition will be held in Seattle on May 12 against China. The team will compete on the east coast July 16, as both the men’s and women’s teams will compete against Brazil in Washington, D.C.