An incredibly talented and experienced group of ladies were named to the US Women's Basketball Team Wednesday morning. Following the announcement, questions were raised about the absence of Candace Parker from the roster.
"Candace is a great player. She's a two-time Olympian, and she's done a lot for us in the past starting in high school," USA Basketball Women's National Team Director Carol Callan said, "It does speak to the fact that we have incredible depth on this team.
"It's not an easy call to make, but what we are trying to do is pick a team collectively that has a chance to win the gold medal and I think we have that."
Head Coach Geno Auriemma said, "When you added the three players that we added, what they've accomplished in their careers up to this point, it really does set them apart from almost everyone else that could be a candidate for those positions."
The three newcomers have just a few months until they will be competing in their first Olympic games. "We're 100 days away but in some ways, it feels like it's right on top of us. I know all the players are excited to be on the team, to be named to the team and to be able to represent the USA in Rio," said Auriemma.
The team has a great mixture of experience and youth, "We have players that want to play again and again and again and in this case, again. We'll have three or four-time Olympians and that leadership on and off the court is so important. But we've also been able to work in first-time Olympians," Callan said.
Despite any backlash, Callan said the committee is confident in their decision. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for our selection committee but also we selected what we feel will give us the best chance to win our sixth straight gold medal."