2018 FIBA World Cup preliminary round schedule announced for Staley, USA

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –  FIBA today conducted the draw to determine the preliminary round pools for the 2018 FIBA World Cup for Women, and the USA was placed into Group D along with Asia bronze medalist China, Europe sixth-place finisher Latvia and Africa silver medalist Senegal.

“All three of the teams in our preliminary group are strong teams,” said Dawn Staley, USA National Team and University of South Carolina head coach. “China, Latvia and Senegal have each qualified for the World Cup through their zones. But, it really doesn’t matter who we face in the preliminary round. We are going to have to defeat all the best teams if we are going to win the World Cup. That is our ultimate goal, to claim gold at the FIBA World Cup and qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.”

Winners of back-to-back World Cup titles and four of the past five FIBA World Cups, the USA owns a record nine gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Cup play, while compiling an all-time 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.

Group A includes Canada, France, Greece and South Korea; Group B is comprised of Argentina, Australia, Nigeria and Turkey; while Group C features Belgium, Japan, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Following the preliminary round, played Sept. 22-25, teams will be seeded, and the top team from each group will earn an automatic berth to the quarterfinals, while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams from each group will advance to the Sept. 26 quarterfinals play-in round. From there, winners will compete in the Sept. 28-30 medal round.

The 28 members of the 2017-20 USA National Team roster include: Seimone Augustus(Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon(Atlanta Dream); Napheesa Collier (Connecticut); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Asia Durr (Louisville); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride(Las Vegas Aces); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut); Odyssey Sims(Los Angeles Sparks); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun); and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).

Twenty-two athletes, including 16 members of the USA National Team and six USA National Team hopefuls, are expected to attend a training camp scheduled for Feb. 9-11, 2018, at the University of South Carolina.

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.

Information from a press release was used in the writing of this article.