Release from the Atlanta Dream:
Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams has been named to the 11-member 2016 USA Select Team, which was announced Monday afternoon by USA Basketball officials.
The USA Select Team, comprised of young USA National Team members and future USA National Team hopefuls, will train alongside the 2016 USA Women’s National Team July 23-24 in Los Angeles before tipping-off the USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon in an exhibition game July 25 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.
Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, who currently sits at No. 3 among WNBA scoring leaders at 20.2 points per game, is a member of the 2016 USA National Team that will compete this August at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Invitations to the USA Select Team were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee, chaired by USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan.
Williams is enjoying a breakout season for the Dream after being acquired by Atlanta via trade in the most recent offseason. The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft and four-time All-America at Duke is currently averaging 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. She has proven to be a major factor around the rim on the defensive end as she ranks second among WNBA leaders in blocked shots at 2.6 per contest. In addition, Williams has recorded a pair of double-doubles this season and has opened at center for Atlanta in all 19 games this season.
Members of the 2016 USA Select Team also include Kelsey Bone (Phoenix Mercury); Kahleah Copper (Washington Mystics); Stefanie Dolson (Washington Mystics); Natasha Howard (Minnesota Lynx); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Aerial Powers (Dallas Wings); Sugar Rodgers (New York Liberty); Odyssey Sims (Dallas Wings) and Kiah Stokes (New York Liberty).
“This is a really good group of young and talented athletes,” said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who has directed the USA National Team to an overall 23-0 record and gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships. “Having them train against our USA National Team will not only help us prepare for Rio, but it will also give us a chance to evaluate them for future USA Basketball teams. I’ve already had the opportunity to work with several of them in a USA Basketball National Team setting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them as well as the rest of the USA Select Team in this kind of setting.”
The USA Select Team is scheduled to practice July 23 at 3:30 p.m. (PDT) at a site to be determined, hold a second practice July 24 at 10 a.m. (PDT) at USC’s Galen Center before tipping-off July 25 at 7 p.m. (PDT)against the USA National Team at the Galen Center.
Bone, Powers, Stokes and Williams each won at least one gold medal as a member of various USA Basketball junior teams.