Emotional Plum Punches Ticket To Tokyo Olympics
A year ago, former Husky Kelsey Plum dreamed of just returning to the basketball court after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury. Fast forward to today and not only has Plum returned to the court full-strength, but she has punched her ticket to represent the United States in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the first-time event of 3x3 basketball.
The enormity of what Plum accomplished and returned from weighed heavily on her as she was interviewed shortly after clinching a spot in the Games. She fought back tears as she thanked a myriad of supporters that helped her return to action.
"I want to thank USA Basketball," Plum said. "They could have quit on me. They could have said we're going to bring in somebody else, but they didn't. I'm just super grateful."
"We're going to the Olympics baby." ????
Kelsey Plum talked about how grateful she is after Team USA qualified for the Olympics in 3x3 basketball ?? @Kelseyplum10
— espnW (@espnW) May 31, 2021
Plum was named to the three-member FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying All-Tournament Team. She helped the Americans beat Belarus, 21-10, in the quarterfinals and then Spain in a semifinal contest that clinched the berth into the Olympics.
"This was a battle, credit to Spain," Plum said after she and her teammates handed Spain a 21-13 loss. "What a fight, but we're going to the Olympics baby!"
The USA squad finished 6-0 in play from Graz, Austria and joins Japan and France as qualifiers from the tournament. Russia, China, Mongolia and Romania claimed their spots based on their FIBA 3x3 national federation rankings. The eighth and final spot will be determined from the FIBA 3x3 Universal Qualifying Tournament June 4-6.
In its first Olympic showing, 3x3 basketball will compete from July 24-28.