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Feb. 9, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley will return as an assistant coach for the USA Women’s National Team through the 2016 Olympic Games, USA Basketball announced today. Along with Doug Bruno (DePaul) and Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota), Staley assisted Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) to the gold medal and a 6-0 record in the 2014 FIBA World Championships. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee, approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors and is pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The three coaches will work with Auriemma at various USA National Team training camps in 2015 and 2016 and with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team at the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I’m really excited to continue my career with USA Basketball,” said Staley, who pulled double duty in 2014, first as a head coach for the USA U18 National Team that captured gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and a month later as an assistant coach to the gold-medal winning USA World Championship team. “I feel that it’s basketball utopia because you come together for one common goal. Also, I look forward to working with Geno, Doug and Cheryl once again because I thought we had a pretty good chemistry as a staff. Hopefully I can lend my hand and help us win another gold medal.”

This marks the second Olympic assignment for both Bruno and Staley. After retiring from international play in 2004 following her third Olympic gold medal, Staley was an assistant for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that compiled an 8-0 record and captured the USA’s fourth-straight Olympic gold medal. Bruno assisted Auriemma on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team that upped the USA’s Olympic gold-medal streak to five. The Rio Olympic Games will be Reeve’s first Olympic experience.

“There is certainly a comfort level that we have,” Auriemma said. “We know a little bit about each other now and have been able to work together in the FIBA World Championship, and I’m very comfortable with them and confident in them. Obviously I’ve known Doug the longest but I’ve had coaching relationships with Dawn and Cheryl, too, and we’ve worked really well together. The more time we spend together, the relationships are going to grow and we are going to be even more effective than they were in the World Championships.”

A total of 12 nations will compete in the Olympic women’s basketball competition, including host Brazil and the USA, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championships. The gold-medal winning nations from each of the five FIBA zone Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2015 will also punch their tickets to Rio, while the remaining berths will be awarded to the top five finishing teams at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).

Having earned a record seven gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal in Olympic play, USA Basketball women’s teams are 58-3 all-time in Olympic competition and will enter Rio riding a remarkable 41-game Olympic winning streak that dates back to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics bronze medal game.