Katie Lou Samuelson, Ariel Atkins and Tiffany Mitchell added to rosters for upcoming USA Women’s National Team competitions

Katie Lou Samuelson. Photo: USA Basketball.
Katie Lou Samuelson. Photo: USA Basketball

From an announcement by USA Basketball:

Three athletes with previous USA Basketball experience have been added to the USA Women’s National Team rosters for at least a portion of the two collegiate exhibitions and three FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament contests. 2019 FIBA AmeriCup gold medalist Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky) will return to play her alma mater when the USA faces University of Connecticut on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and against the University of Louisville on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Additionally, Samuelson, 2019 WNBA champion Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics/Texas) and 2018 USA World Cup Team finalist Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever/South Carolina) will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, from Feb. 6-9.

Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky/Tennessee) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury/Connecticut), who originally were announced to compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, are unable to compete and will not join the U.S. squad in Europe.

The roster for the two collegiate games is rounded out by Sue Bird (Seattle Storm/Connecticut), Tina Charles (New York Liberty/Connecticut), Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun/California), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings/Notre Dame), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx/Louisiana State), Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks/Duke), Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream/Louisville), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks/Stanford), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington), Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm/Connecticut), Taurasi and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces/South Carolina).

Charles is available only for the Connecticut game, and McCoughtry is available only for the Louisville contest.

Following the exhibitions at Connecticut and Louisville, the USA will continue preparations in its quest for a seventh-straight Olympic gold medal as participants in the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The U.S. was drawn into the Belgrade, Serbia, group and will face host Serbia on Feb. 6, followed by Mozambique on Feb. 8 and Nigeria on Feb. 9. The top two finishing teams, aside from the Americans who have already earned a spot in the 2020 Olympic women’s basketball field, will earn an Olympic berth. All three FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Competing in the games in Serbia will be: Atkins, Bird, Diggins-Smith, Fowles, Gray, Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury/Baylor), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm/Notre Dame), Mitchell, Ogwumike, Samuelson, Stewart and Wilson.

Mitchell and Samuelson are members of the 2020 USA National Team pool, while Atkins is joining the team in hopes of being added to the pool at a later date.

Dawn Staley (South Carolina) is the head coach of the 2020 USA National Team.

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