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Huskies Dominate USA Women’s National Team Pool

January 15, 2014By: Kenneth Best

When Breanna Stewart ’16 (CLAS) was selected last week as the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year for the second time in the last three years, she expressed the hope that one day she would be able to play for her country in the Olympics. As a veteran of USA Basketball with five international gold medals in her trophy case, the self-effacing second-year Husky did not have to wait very long to get a major step closer to the opportunity she desires.

Earlier this week, the 19-year-old Stewart was among seven current and former Huskies named by USA Basketball to the group of 33 of the nation’s top women basketball players who hope to make the USA National Team. Once selected, the team will try to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship and for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Ever since I watched the Olympics, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Stewart says, adding that representing her country through basketball at the highest level is one of her biggest goals.

Stewart, junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis ’15 (CLAS), and senior Stefanie Dolson ’14 (CLAS) were selected to the player pool, along with former Huskies Sue Bird ’02 (CLAS) of the Seattle Storm, Tina Charles ’10 (CLAS) of the Connecticut Sun, Maya Moore ’11 (CLAS) of the Minnesota Lynx, and Diana Taurasi ’05 (CLAS) of the Phoenix Mercury.

“Stewie has always been honored to be part of USA basketball. It’s one of the most important things to her,” says Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma, who will return as coach of the USA National Team. “As far as the game itself goes, she’s never passed up an opportunity to participate and she’s played at her age group, she’s played up one or two and sometimes three years, and she always performs at a really high level. “You just tell her when training camp is and she shows up. Whatever team she’s on usually wins a gold medal.”

The current trio of Huskies are among just six student-athletes in the pool who are still playing as undergraduates and in the future will likely play in the WNBA. Dolson has won two gold medals and Mosqueda-Lewis has won four, playing in international competition. Bird, Charles, Moore, and Taurasi, along with Swin Cash ’02 (CLAS) and Asjha Jones ’02 (BUS), were members of the U.S. Olympic Team that won the 2012 London Olympics gold medal coached by Auriemma. They are among the group of USA veterans in this year’s selection pool who collectively have won 14 Olympic and/or FIBA World Championship gold medals.

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