Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Final Olympic spots to be revealed Thursday

USA Basketball will hold a conference call tomorrow at 3 p.m. to reveal the final three members of the U.S. national team that will travel to Beijing next month for the 2008 Olympics. Included on the call will be Anne Donovan, the coach of the national team; Val Ackerman, the president of USA basketball; Renee Brown, the committee chair for women's national team; and of course, the three final members.

As stated before, Sun guard Lindsay Whalen is a candidate. Outside of Sue Bird, the team lacks a true point guard among the first nine members, though Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Katie Smith are capable of handling the ball. Whalen's also hurt by the fact that she didn't spend a lot of time training with the team during the offseason, one because of her wedding and two, her commitments to her team overseas in Prague.

Other candidates to be added include Tamika Catchings (who appears to be a lock, considering she's played regular minutes since returning from injury), Kara Lawson (who also has a good shot because she's spent a lot of time training with the team during the offseason), Alana Beard, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Katie Douglas and Candice Wiggins.

It wasn't specified if the team's six alternates would also be announced, but it makes sense to reveal them at the same time as the final three members. Expect at least most of those names, plus others, to be among the alternates if not selected. Alternates do not travel to Beijing with the team, and no one can be added to the team after the final rosters are handed in, which is a day or two before the start of the games on Aug. 8.

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