Staley, Sessions Prepare for FIBA AmeriCup
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley and Gamecock alumna Khadijah Sessions are part of the USA Basketball contingent set for training camp in Miami ahead of the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico. Staley is set for her second international tournament as USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach, while Sessions joins the training camp as several regular team members continue to compete in the WNBA playoffs, including Gamecock alumna A’ja Wilson.
Included on the list of athletes expected to participate or attend once they have concluded their WNBA season are seven of the eight athletes who committed to the 2019-20 USA National Team’s expanded training program, including Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Wilson.
In addition to those seven, athletes who have confirmed their participation in the USA training camp, provided they’ve concluded their WNBA season are: Jordin Canada (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx), Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky), Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas Wings), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces), Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky), Brittney Sykes (Atlanta Dream), Sydney Wiese (Los Angeles Sparks) and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).
Additionally, six players also will take part in training camp: Kaila Charles (Maryland), Mykea Gray (Miami), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon), Olivia Nelson-Ododa (UConn), Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA), Sessions and Christyn Williams (UConn).
In Miami, the U.S. will practice for approximately two hours per day, starting at 10 a.m. ET at Miami’s Watsco Center practice gym before traveling to Puerto Rico for the AmeriCup, which was previously known as the FIBA Americas Championship.
Ten nations will take part in the AmeriCup, with the top eight finishing teams advancing to a Nov. 10-18 FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifyig Tournament. The field has been drawn into two pools of five teams each. Group A features Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The USA will compete in Group B against Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay.
Following preliminary play, teams will be seeded and the top two teams from each group advance to the Sept. 28 semifinals. The gold and bronze medal games will be held Sept. 29. All the USA games will be shown live on ESPN+.
The USA National Team, which already has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will take advantage of and participate in FIBA’s new Olympic qualifying process, that provides nations with two windows of competition, Nov. 10-18, 2019, and Feb. 2-10, 2020.
As was the case over the past three quadrenniums, the 2019-20 USA National Team roster, which currently lists 34 athletes, will be fluid. It is expected that the official, 12-member 2020 U.S. Olympic Team will be comprised of players from the 2019-20 USA National Team.