Former Gamecocks invited to Staley’s USA training camp

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former South Carolina standouts Allisha Gray and Tiffany Mitchell will join 22 of the USA’s top professional women’s basketball players expected to participate in the USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp, scheduled for Feb. 9-11 in Columbia, S.C. The two former Gamecock guards are among the six athletes invited by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to join the 16 members of the 2017-20 USA National Team in the hopes of being named to the USA National Team pool, which also includes South Carolina senior forward A’ja Wilson.

With Gamecock head coach Dawn Staley also the head coach of the U.S. National Team, the group will train at the Carolina Coliseum at 10 a.m. on Feb. 9-10 and 9 a.m. on Feb. 11.

“I’m excited any time that we can get together with USA Basketball and have a training camp that assembles some of the best players in the country,” Staley said. “It’s always a great thing. It gets your basketball wheels moving. All of Columbia is excited to have our USA Basketball training camp here.

“It’s exciting to bring the incredible pool of players to our city and campus. Seeing Tiffany and Allisha’s names included on the list makes me proud, knowing they are one step closer to accomplishing their dream. I can’t wait  to get this training camp started and work with champion coaches and players.”

The minicamp will feature 16 members of the 2018-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool, including Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury);Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); and Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun).

Attending the camp as USA National Team hopefuls are: Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings); Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks); Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Brittney Sykes (Atlanta Dream); Sydney Wiese (Los Angeles Sparks); and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).

Members of the USA National Team pool who are unavailable to participate in the February camp are: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Napheesa Collier (University of Connecticut); Asia Durr (University of Louisville); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State University); Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun); Katie Lou Samuelson (University of Connecticut); Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks); and Wilson (University of South Carolina).

Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx) and Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm) currently are competing in China, and their inclusion on the training camp roster will depend on their respective teams’ run in the WCBA playoffs.

Assisting Staley during the three-day camp will be Los Angeles Sparks head coach Brian Agler; Seattle Storm head coach Dan Hughes; and Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve, who was an assistant alongside Staley during the 2014 FIBA World Cup and 2016 Olympic gold medal campaigns.

It is expected that the official, 12-member 2018 USA World Cup and 2020 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify to compete in Tokyo, will be comprised of players from the 2017-20 USA National Team.

Gamecocks Athletics contributed to this article.

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