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USA Women’s Squad Packed with Huskies for FIBA Tournament

September 26, 2014 By: Kenneth Best

USA Basketball on Tuesday named five current and former Huskies as members of the 2014 FIBA World Championship team.

Sue Bird ’02 (CLAS) of the Seattle Storm; Tina Charles ’10 (CLAS) of the New York Liberty; 2014 WNBA MVP Maya Moore ’11 (CLAS) of the Minnesota Lynx; Diana Taurasi ’05 (CLAS) of the 2014 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury; and Breanna Stewart ’16 (CLAS) were selected for the 12-member team following a series of exhibition games in Bridgeport, Conn., and in Paris against other international teams.

The FIBA tournament begins Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey, with the United States playing China in the preliminary round, and continues through Oct. 5.

Stefanie Dolson ’14 (CLAS) and Bria Hartley ’14 (CLAS), both of the WNBA Washington Mystics, and UConn senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis ’15 (CLAS) were also among 33 of the nation’s top women basketball players invited earlier this year to try out for the team, who could eventually play in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Auriemma again serves as USA head coach, and has another former Husky on the sideline assisting him – University of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti ’96 (CLAS), who is serving as an advance scout and court coach for the team. A member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Rizzotti was part of the Huskies’ 1995 NCAA Championship team, and was named the 2011 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year after leading the USA Basketball U-19 Team to a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Brazil.

In joining the 2014 squad, Bird becomes the first United States player to be a four-time member of USA World Championship Teams. She previously won Olympic gold medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Stewart, the Most Outstanding Player in the 2014 NCAA Championship and the 2014 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year after leading the U-19 Team to the FIBA gold medal, is the youngest member of the team and the only college player on the roster. Stewart has won five FIBA gold medals since she was 14 years old, playing on USA Basketball teams.

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