Following a three-day camp in Columbia, South Carolina, which culminated with an entertaining intrasquad exhibition game Wednesday night, Indiana Fever stars Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell are among 14 athletes that will continue on to USA Basketball’s next training camp in the hopes of claiming a spot on the 2018 USA World Cup Team. Additionally, the roster further will be bolstered by the addition of Elizabeth Williams, who helped the Atlanta Dream advance to the 2018 WNBA semifinals.
In Wednesday’s Red-White exhibition game, Kelsey Mitchell scored eight points in 17 minutes while playing for the White. A starter for the Red, Tiffany Mitchell finished with five points and two assists in 21 minutes. Both Fever stars were credited with two rebounds.
The U.S. will train Sept. 7 (10:30 a.m. EDT) at the New York Knicks practice facility in Tarrytown, New York, before taking on Canada in an exhibition contest on Sept. 8 (7 p.m. EDT) at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Against Canada on Saturday, the U.S. will face another pair of Fever stars with Natalie Achonwa and Kayla Alexander both representing their native Canada. Fever TV analyst Debbie Antonelli will call the action telecast live on NBATV.
Two-time defending World Cup gold medalists, the USA is preparing for the 2018 FIBA World Cup, which will be held Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain.
Headlining the list is Tina Charles (New York Liberty), a two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist; as well as Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks) and Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks), who joined Charles on the 2014 gold medal winning USA World Cup Team.
Including Williams and both Mitchells, the remaining 12 finalists for the USA World Cup Team who will compete against Canada are: Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun), Napheesa Collier (University of Connecticut), Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky), Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky), Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings), Sabrina Ionescu (University of Oregon), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces), Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces).
“We’re excited about the 14 that made it past the Columbia round and that we’ll add in Elizabeth Williams to the mix in New York,” said USA and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. “But, each round what we’re looking forward to is continuing to bond, to execute what we want to do on both sides of the ball and to keep getting better every day. Every day. We have an Olympian, World Cup gold medalists, WNBA All-Stars, and we’ve got some players who haven’t played at the USA National Team level. So, I’m looking forward to continuing to mesh everybody that we have on the roster as we move forward in this process of getting ready for the World Cup.”
The team will face Japan in its final domestic exhibition game on Sept. 10 (7 p.m. EDT) at the Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After a day off, the team will have one final practice on Sept. 12 (10 a.m. EDT) at the Smith Center before departing for Europe.
Information on purchasing tickets for each of the exhibition games can be found at usab.com/WNTtickets.
Members of the USA National Team pool who advanced to the 2018 WNBA semifinals were not available for the beginning of the camp, but may be added at a later date. Those athletes include: Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Elena Delle Donne(Washington Mystics); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury).
Prior to arriving in Tenerife, Canary Islands, for the World Cup, the USA will play in a four-team, international tournament in Antibes, France, Sept. 15-17, against Canada, France and Senegal.
The final 12-member 2018 USA World Cup Team will be selected by the USA Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee prior to the start of the World Cup.
Hall of Famer Dawn Staley (South Carolina) is the USA National Team head coach through 2020. Assisting Staley through the World Cup are Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm), whose Seattle Storm advanced to the WNBA Finals and will join the team upon the conclusion of the Storm’s season, Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) and Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington).