Stanford's Candice Wiggins Among Five Players Added To USA Senior Women's Basketball Team
Sept. 7, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball standout Candice Wiggins has been selected as one of five internationally experienced players to join the USA Senior Women's Basketball team, USA Basketball announced today. Wiggins, a senior from San Diego, Calif., becomes the fourth collegiate player named to Team USA, joining Sylvia Fowles (Louisiana State), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), and Candace Parker (Tennessee).
Wiggins returned in 2007 to USA Basketball for the third time in four summers and pulled double duty while collecting gold medals with the USA U21 World Championship and USA Pan American Games squads. She also helped USA teams earn gold medals at the 2004 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, 2005 International Sports Invitational and 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship. On the collegiate level, Wiggins has thrice been named to both the Kodak/WBCA All-America First Team as well as Associated Press All-America Second Team, and is a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year (2005-06).
'I'm very excited about the opportunity to play for the USA Senior Women's Basketball team, it has been a life-long dream of mine,' Wiggins said on Friday. 'The experience of training with Team USA and playing at the senior international level is something I am looking forward to.'
'I am ecstatic for Candice to have this great opportunity with USA Basketball,' said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, who led Team USA to a 60-0 record in 1995-96 and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. 'She is very deserving of this honor and I know that she will proudly represent Stanford and USA Basketball.'
In addition to Wiggins, the four other players added to Team USA include Rebekkah Brunson (Sacramento Monarchs), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs), and Loree Moore (New York Liberty).
The USA Women's Senior National Team begins training tonight at 6:00 p.m. (all times EDT) at John Jay College in New York to begin preparing for the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. During the USA's pre-FIBA Americas Championship training camp, the U.S., defending Olympic gold medalists, will take on 2006 World Championship gold medalist Australia in a pair of exhibition contests. The first will be held on Sept. 16 (1:00 p.m. EDT) in Trenton, N.J., and the squads will meet up again on Sept. 19 (7:00 p.m. EDT) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
'The USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team Committee had kept the pool open and felt strongly about adding players to the pool,' said Committee chair Reneé Brown, WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations. 'The four WNBA players had terrific seasons and have played internationally, while Candice is one of the top collegiate players in the country. The Committee feels that each of them will make our pool stronger and our future decisions tougher.'
'These five players all add to the depth of our USA Basketball National Team pool,' said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan, a three-time U.S. Olympic Team member and an assistant to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. 'Since each has a unique skill to offer, the talent on our overall roster will give the committee solid options to continue to build our Senior National Team. The four WNBA additions have all had remarkable seasons in the WNBA this summer. I am excited to see them blend with the other players competing for USA. I can't say enough about Candice's commitment to USA Basketball. She played six weeks this summer, including for Dawn (Staley) at the Pan Am Games, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she can do in camp against the professional players. I think all five of them will fit into the team and style of play we're looking for.
The 2007-08 USA squad now lists a total of 27 players on its roster, including eight Olympic gold medalists, five World Championship gold medalists and all 12 members of the 2006 USA World Championship Team.Jones, who has competed professionally overseas, will don a USA Basketball uniform for the first time, while Brunson, Lawson, Moore and Wiggins have all gained prior experience playing for their country.
A member of the 2003 USA Pan American Games Team that compiled a 5 2 record and earned the silver medal competing against seasoned international veterans, Brunson averaged team bests of 11.3 ppg. and 5.6 rpg.
Lawson most recently competed for the 2006 USA Senior National Team and aided the U.S. to a trio of victories in its first European Tour of 2006. She returned to help the Americans claim the Australia-hosted 2006 Opals World Challenge later in the spring. Lawson first donned a USA Basketball uniform as a member of the 1998 USA World Youth Games Team that earned the bronze medal and in 2001 aided the USA World University Games Team to a gold medal.
A member of three USA Basketball teams, Moore last competed as a member of the 2003 USA Pan American Games Team that was comprised of collegiate players who won the silver medal against seasoned international and professional veterans. Moore also won a bronze medal at the 2001 FIBA U19 World Championship and collected a gold medal at the 2000 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
The 22 previously named members of the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team roster include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Detroit Shock), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Jessica Davenport (New York Liberty), Katie Douglas (Connecticut Sun), Cheryl Ford (Detroit Shock), Sylvia Fowles (Louisiana State University), Lindsey Harding (Minnesota Lynx), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles Sparks), DeLisha Milton-Jones (Washington Mystics), Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock), Courtney Paris (University of Oklahoma), Candace Parker (University of Tennessee), Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury), Katie Smith (Detroit Shock), Michelle Snow (Houston Comets), Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Tina Thompson (Houston Comets) and Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut Sun).
Included among the Olympic gold medalists are Bird (2004), Cash (2004), Catchings (2004), Milton-Jones (2000), Smith (2000, 2004), Swoopes (1996, 2000, 2004), Taurasi (2004) and Thompson (2004); while Bird (2002), Catchings (2002), McWilliams-Franklin (1998), Milton-Jones (1998, 2002), Smith (1998, 2002) and Swoopes (2002) all won golds at FIBA World Championships; and Augustus, Beard, Bird, Cash, Catchings, Ford, Parker, Smith, Snow, Swoopes, Taurasi and Thompson were all on the 2006 USA World Championship Team that went 8-1 and earned the bronze medal. Swoopes was also a member of the 1994 USA World Championship Team that finished with the bronze medal.
Donovan is being assisted by 2006 WNBA Coach of the Year Mike Thibault of the Connecticut Sun and collegiate head coaches Gail Goestenkors of the University of Texas and Temple University's (Pa.) Dawn Staley. During the USA's 2007 College Tour, Goestenkors and Staley will be coaching their respective teams and will not be on the USA's sidelines.