USA Basketball named the first nine players of the 2008 Olympic team Saturday, and there were no real surprises. Veterans Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith and Tina Thompson headline a team that also includes former UConn stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, rookies Sylvia Fowles and Candace Parker, and other young stars in Seimone Augustus and Cappie Pondexter.
The team has until July 1 to fill the other three spots on the 12-person roster. Lindsay Whalen is the only Sun player who may make it, though if she were, she wasn't expected to be included in the first nine.
"I'm just thrilled to have these nine players officially named to the team," said U.S. coach Anne Donovan said in a press release. Sun coach Mike Thibault is one of her assistants. "It's such a great mixture of Olympic gold medalists with some really tremendous young talent. I love the combination of players that we have. We have Olympians who have experienced multiple Games like Lisa Leslie and Katie Smith, some who are returning for their second Olympics and then we have a very talented group of first-timers. Looking at these nine players, we've really covered the gamut in terms of experience and we have a tremendous balance of perimeter and post play."
Here's the roster thus far, and the press release.