Via Delaware Online
Fans of Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne will have an opportunity to watch her and the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team at her old playground this summer during the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase. The women’s national team will host Australia, Canada and France in a four-team, three-stop tournament July 27-31 at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut; and New York.
Featuring the world’s second-ranked team Australia, 2015 FIBA Americas Championship gold medalist Canada and 2012 Olympic silver medalist France, the showcase tips off at the “Bob” at 5 p.m. on July 27 for Australia vs. Canada, followed by a 7:30 p.m. clash between the USA and France. The July 29 games feature a 4:30 p.m. start at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport between Australia and France, while the USA takes on Canada at 7 p.m. On the tournament’s final day at Madison Square Garden, Canada and France tip off at 1:30 p.m., while the USA and Australia will begin play at 4 p.m.
From there, the U.S. team will travel to Houston for United States Olympic Team processing and a final practice on Aug. 2, prior to traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games will go on sale starting June 13. For ticket information visit usab.com/showcase.
“This tournament with Australia, Canada and France, three of the top teams in the world, is an incredible opportunity for our team to prepare for Rio,” said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who has directed the USA National Team to an overall 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships. “I think each of these games will be competitive and be a really, really good preview of what you’ll see in August at the Olympics. Two years ago we were able to play games at Delaware … and the fan support at both of those games was tremendous.”
Five-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team features three-time gold medalists and tri-captains Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); and 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Competing in their first Olympic Games are Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut).
FIBA on March 11, 2016, held the draw to determine the Aug. 6-10 preliminary round groups, and the United States was placed in Group B along with Canada, Senegal, Serbia and two teams that will earn their berths at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament next week in Nantes, France. The top five finishing teams from the Olympic qualifier will earn a berth to Rio, with the second and fourth best teams included in Group B.
The U.S. will open play against against Senegal on Aug. 7, followed by the No. 4 team from the Olympic qualifier on Aug. 8, Serbia on Aug. 10, Canada Aug. 12, and the USA concludes preliminary round play on Aug. 14 against the No. 2 team from the Olympic qualifier.
Auriemma will be assisted through the 2016 Olympic Games by DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley.