I make no excuses for it; I've been really lucky that to make Geno Auriemma's life easier USA Basketball has held so much training and practice time in Connecticut. I've been able to observe, study, enjoy and talk to some of the greatest women's basketball players in the world. It's been a woman's basketball fan's dream.
One thing became very clear; the players involved with USA Basketball hold it in the highest regard, take it very seriously, and become "different" when they put on the uniform with the USA across the front. I can't possibly do justice to their feelings, only their own words can. And over the course of a couple of training sessions and the WNBA season, I was able to record the thoughts of 11 of the 12 USA players. The only one missing is Tamika Catchings, because I enjoy talking to her so much, I've never put on the microphone (I'll have to work on that next season!).
So for your listening pleasure, the women that make up the USA Senior National Team for the FIBA 2010 World Championships.
Jayne Appel, Center - Gold Medals: 2007 Pan American, Games, 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Silver Medal: 2005 USA Youth Development Festival.
Sue Bird, Guard - Gold Medals: 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, 2008 Olympic Games, 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament, 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, 2004 Olympics, 2002 World Championship, 2002 Opals World Challenge, 2000 R. William Jones Cup.
Silver Medal: 2007 FIBA World League Tournament.
Bronze Medal: 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Swin Cash, Forward - Gold Medals: 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, 2004 Olympics.
Silver Medal: 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament.
Tina Charles, Center - Gold Medals: 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, 2009 World University Games, 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Bronze Medal: 2005 Youth Development Festival.
Honors: Named the 2009 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year
Candice Dupree, Forward - Gold Medal: 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, 2005 World University Games.
Tomorrow, come back to hear from the remaining members of Team USA!