Three Gamecocks to Join Staley at USA Women’s National Team Minicamp
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball alumnae Allisha Gray, Tiffany Mitchell and A’ja Wilson are part of the 19 athletes set to participate in a USA Basketball Women’s National Team minicamp, Feb. 4-7, at the University of South Carolina. Gamecock head coach Dawn Staley, who is also the current National Team head coach, will lead the four-day minicamp.
“It’s been a year since we’ve been together for a training camp, and I’m excited to step back on the court with the USA National Team,” Staley said. “We’ve got a great mix of veteran leadership and younger players, most of whom know how I run practices, and I anticipate we’ll have four extremely competitive days of practice here in South Carolina. We’re missing a few pieces of the puzzle, we have 36 players in our pool, but it will be incredibly helpful in our preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.”
“USA Basketball has worked closely with health experts and the University of South Carolina to develop a safe, secure and controlled environment for this training camp,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “We’re excited to be able to have the opportunity to continue our USA National Team’s preparations for the Olympics, and we’re confident we have a solid plan in place that will help protect the health and safety of all the athletes, coaches and staff.”
The U.S. squad will train each day beginning at 10 a.m. EST. However, due to COVID-19 precautions, no media or guests will be allowed to view practices. USA Basketball will provide media with images and broll for non-commercial, editorial use on a daily basis. Further, select athletes participating in the USA training camp will be available via video conference each day to assist media in covering the minicamp. The video conference schedule will be finalized prior to camp.
Comprehensive COVID-19 protocols will be utilized, including mandatory and regular COVID-19 PCR testing administered to participating athletes, coaches, officials and staff in accordance with FIBA and USA Basketball recommendations and CDC guidelines.
Assisting Staley on the sideline this summer in Tokyo and at the minicamp will be WNBA head coaches Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm) and Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx). George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, who also is an assistant coach for the national team, is unable to attend the February minicamp due to commitments to her collegiate team.
South Carolina assistant coach Lisa Boyer and Dallas Wings head coach Vickie Johnson will serve as court coaches during the four-day camp.
Prior to the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, the 2019-20 USA National Team owned a combined 17-1 record, which includes a 3-0 mark in Serbia at the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, a 3-0 record at the 2019 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Argentina, a 5-1 slate in exhibition games in 2019 and 2020 against college teams and a 6-0 mark and gold medal at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup in Puerto Rico.
After last summer’s postponement, the 2020 Olympics, which will see 12 women’s basketball teams battling for gold, will be held July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. The USA women, which own a 66-3 all-time Olympic record, have captured the past six Olympic gold medals and currently are riding a 49-game winning streak that dates to the 1992 bronze medal game.