Five-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team was announced today and former Baylor standout Brittney Griner was one of 12 players selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee. Griner becomes Baylor’s first women’s basketball Olympic Team member.
Griner a three-time consensus All-American and two-time Wade Trophy winner while at Baylor, gained her first international experience with USA Basketball while a member of the 2011 USA National Team European Tour. A 2012 U.S. Olympic Team finalist, Griner was named to the 2014 FIBA?World Championship All-Tournament Team after helping the USA capture gold, and most recently she aided the USA to a 4-0 record in its 2015 European Tour.
The 6-8 center owns the all-time NCAA Division I career records for blocked shots (748) and dunks (18). In addition, during her four years, Baylor compiled a 135-15 record (.900), earned the 2012 NCAA title with a perfect 40-0 mark, advanced to the 2010 Final Four, 2011 Elite Eight and 2013 Sweet Sixteen, captured three Big 12 Conference regular season and three Big 12 Tournament crowns. She was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2012), NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player (2010, 2012), NCAA All-Regional (2011, 2012).
Joining Griner (Phoenix Mercury) on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tameka Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx),Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx).
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team is coached by Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, he will be assisted by Doug Bruno (DePaul) Cheryl Reeves (Minnesota Lynx) and Dawn Staley (South Carolina).
On March 11, 2016, FIBA held the draw to determine the Aug. 6-10 preliminary round groups, and the United States (2014 FIBA World Championship gold medalist) was placed in Group B along with Canada (2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist), Senegal (2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist), Serbia (2015 EuroBasket gold medalist) and two teams that will earn their berths at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, June 13-19, 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 Senegal on either Aug. 6 or Aug. 7 (all game times to be announced by FIBA at a later date), 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.