Saitama City, Japan (Associated Press)-The U.S. women’s basketball team successfully integrated players and veterans who participated in the Olympics for the first time, winning six consecutive gold medals.
The Tokyo Olympics is no exception. There are six newcomers in the team, American BasketballThe latest batch of Olympic rookies gave early signs that in the process of the Americans’ seventh consecutive gold medal, they have reached the level of maintaining standards of excellence.
A’ja Wilson led the U.S. team in each of the first two games. Chelsea Gray and Jewel Loyd brought sparks to the backcourt. Gray played meaningful minutes on the bench, and Lloyd scored 12 points in Friday’s 86-69 victory over Japan.
Although the players and coaches say they get better in every training and game, this team is not as sharp as the head coach Dawn Staley hoped.
“When you have excellent leadership skills, and when you and your best friend Stewie (Breanna Stewart) are here, it makes things easier,” Loyd said. “It also makes you feel very comfortable. The veteran makes it easy for me to adapt and do what I should do.”
This has been the case since the US Women’s National Team started six consecutive gold medals.
-1996: There are 10 newcomers on the list, including veterans Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain.
-2000: As the Americans won the gold medal for the second time in a row at the Sydney Olympics, six newcomers were added to the list.
-2004: Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi were among the seven Americans who made their Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
-2008 and 2012: There were five newcomers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
Stewart was one of the three newcomers to the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was with Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne. Both Stewart and Griner participated in the Tokyo Olympics, although Dale Dorn did not appear here again after recovering from his second back surgery.
Wilson, along with Lloyd, Gray, Skylar Dickins-Smith, Ariel Atkins and Nafisa Collier, are newcomers on this list. Eliminated is Nneka Ogwumike, the 2016 WNBA MVP is still looking for her first Olympic seat because she recovered from a sprained knee when the roster was confirmed.
Even on a roster with talented inside players like Griner, Stewart, Fowles and Tina Charles, Wilson has performed well. The defending WNBA MVP has double-double starts every game and knows the position she is trying to fill for the national team.
“To be honest, this legacy is still surreal to me,” Wilson said. “I remember just playing U-19 in U.S. basketball, and now I…in a big team, it’s great.”
by the time American Basketball Choosing the roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Wilson is expected to become a veteran. University of Connecticut star Paige Bueckers, who won the AP Player of the Year as a freshman, is likely to lead the next batch of newcomers.
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