COLORADO SPRINGS (National team) - After a successful year in 2007 that saw the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's National Team earn an Olympic berth and compile an overall slate of 19-0, the U.S. squad is scheduled to resume its training for Beijing in Salamanca and Valencia, Spain, March 14-21. Included in its 2008 Tour of Spain will be a contest against top EuroLeague pro team Ros Casares in Valencia on March 17 and a game on March 20 against Perfumerías Avenida in Salamanca. The USA's competition is currently ranked No. 1 (Ros Casares) and No. 2 in the Spanish League.
USA Basketball Women's National Team members slated to attend the 2008 Tour of Spain include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Katie Douglas (Indiana Fever), Katie Feenstra (Atlanta Dream), Lindsey Harding (Minnesota Lynx), Janel McCarville (New York Liberty), DeLisha Milton-Jones (Washington Mystics), Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury), Katie Smith (Detroit Shock) and Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut Sun). Additionally, USA Basketball has invited Los Angeles Sparks guards Temeka Johnson and Sidney Spencer to attend the Spain training camp.
"I am very excited to resume our training," said 2008 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Anne Donovan. "We have a chance to compete against the top two professional teams in Spain in March and then travel to Beijing in April and go against five Olympic teams in the test event. These will be the final two times our team will be able to train before the WNBA season begins. I'm looking forward to getting the players back on the court - from veterans like Katie Smith and DeLisha Milton-Jones to newcomers who really impressed me last year like Janel McCarville."
Donovan will be assisted on the sidelines by Connecticut Sun head coach Mike Thibault.
During the USA's Tour of Spain, the team will train in Valencia March 14-16 before taking on 2008 EuroLeague quarterfinalist Ros Casares on March 17 (time TBD). Following two more days of practice, the USA squad will travel to Salamanca to cap its training with a 12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. EST) contest against Perfumerías Avenida on March 20.
The USA National Team will have one final training camp before the 2008 WNBA season tips off. Beginning in Chicago on April 13, the U.S. will train through April 16 prior to traveling to Beijing for the April 19-27 Good Luck Beijing Tournament. Featuring six nations, including 2006 World Champion Australia, host China, Cuba, New Zealand and South Korea, the tournament will feature a single round-robin preliminary round with games played on April 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24. Teams will then be seeded for the April 26 finals based on records from the round-robin preliminary round with the top two squads facing off in the gold medal game.
Additionally, on April 26 FIBA will hold the men's and women's Olympic draw at the Wukesong Arena between the bronze medal and gold medal games.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images