MOSCOW (Olympics) - Russia coach Igor Grudin has named Americans Rebecca Hammon, Kelly Miller and Deanna Nolan along with national team veteran Elena Baranova in his 24-strong preliminary squad for the Beijing Games.
Hammon of CSKA Moscow, Miller of Spartak Moscow Region and Nolan of UMMC Ekaterinburg are guards who acquired Russian citizenship after playing in the country.
Baranova, a 36-year-old forward, played at the last Olympics in Athens to help Russia capture bronze but has not figured in the national team set-up since.
Russia won the EuroBasket gold medal last season to qualify for the Beijing Games.
Russia preliminary squad: Natalia Vodopyanova, Marina Kuzina, Tatiana Bokareva, Anastas Pimenova, Lyudmila Sapova, Tatiana Shchegoleva, Anna Petrakova, Elena Baranova, Elena Karpova, Irina Sokolovskaya, Maria Stepanova, Ekaterina Lisina, Irina Osipova, Svetlana Abrosimova, Oxana Rakhmatulina, Deanna Nolan, Valentine Leshcheva, Ilona Korstin, Rebecca Hammon, Marina Karpunina, Kelly Miller, Ekaterina Demagina, Elena Volkova, Elena Danilochkina.
Coach staff of the Russian national woman team, headed by Igor Grudin, named the expanded list of the candidates for the national team. There will be 24 players preparing for the Olympic games in Peking.
CSKA will be represented by Ilona Korstin, Rebecca Hammon, Maria Stepanova, Ekaterina Lisina and Irina Sokolovskaya.
The final line-up of the national team is planned to be announced after the "VTB Cup", which will be held from 22 to 24, July in the Moscow region Vidnoe, as a part of "The week of Olympic basketball in Russia".
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