FLAMENGO, Rio de Janeiro - The record setting US Women’s Olympic team practiced today in Rio for their next preliminary game against Canada.
With a 3-0 standing in the preliminaries, and more than 100 points scored in three consecutive games of Olympic play, the Team USA has their eyes set firmly on gold and have been doing everything to get there.
Throughout practice, which lasted a bit over one hour, Assistant Coach Cheryl Reeve and Head Coach Geno Auriemma, guided the players through offensive plays and drills certainly aimed at optimizing their game and pounding all opposition.
“He guides us to a certain point, but then it’s on us to bring it as professionals and high-level players,” said Maya Moore when asked about the freedom within a structure that Auriemma is known to give the team.
“Obviously, he puts us in positions and makes calls at certain times, but at the end of the day, he just wants us to make good basketball decisions. It teaches us how to stand on our own and learn every time we’re on the court.”
Confident about the team’s potential and journey up until now, Moore acknowledged her teammates and highlighted Diana Taurasi’s performance last night against Serbia.
“She came out with fire and attitude to make the shots and put on an amazing game,” said Moore. “She’s the most consistent competitor this game has ever seen.”
Just as she did with Taurasi, Moore also noted Lindsey Whalen’s contribution to the team.
“She (Whalen) is another player that carries an outward swag and executes at the same time,” Moore. “I appreciate her energy and love to watch her play.”
When asked about the foundation of the team’s stamina, Moore mentioned teamwork: “We always try to be each other’s battery player.”
Meanwhile, as the team gets ready to face Canada and China, games that will hopefully qualify Team USA for the semifinals, Breanna Stewart guarantees the team is enjoying the little time off they have off the court (and off Silver Cloud).
“Yesterday we watched beach volleyball and the men’s game, and I now were about to visit the Christ.”
Hopefully, the team remains united and focused as they get closer and closer to their golden dream. Because it’s obvious that their combination of confidence, leadership and Taurasi has this team poised for another Gold Medal.