Storm star Breanna Stewart is set to return to competition when she leads USA Basketball against her alma mater at the end of month.
Stewart and the women’s national team will play exhibition games against UConn in Hartford on Jan. 27 and against Louisville in Kentucky on Feb. 2.
Her return would come about nine months after she ruptured her right Achilles tendon while playing in the Euroleague Women’s championship in April.
Stewart, who won four NCAA titles at UConn, missed the 2019 WNBA season after winning the league MVP award and a championship with the Seattle Storm in 2018.
“I’m trying to be back to play in February,” Stewart told The Associated Press at the WNBA All-Star Game last summer.
Also returning to face UConn will be former Connecticut stars Sue Bird, Tina Charles and Diana Taurasi. And Angel McCoughtry will face her former school when USA Basketball takes on the Cardinals.
USA Basketball said Wednesday that Bird, Stewart and Taurasi will compete in both games, while Charles is available only for the UConn game and McCoughtry only for the Louisville matchup.
The U.S. already has secured a spot in next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo by winning the World Cup last year.
The exhibition games against UConn and Louisville are two of six that the U.S. national team scheduled in preparation for the 2020 Olympics (the previous ones were in the fall against Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State, and Texas A&M).
The U.S. team will compete in the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 6-9 in Belgrade, Serbia. Bird, Stewart, Taurasi — along with roster additions Diamond DeShields, Jewell Loyd, and Brittney Griner — will participate in that tournament.
With Dawn Staley, the head coach of the 2020 national team, unable to join the squad in January and February due to commitments to her South Carolina squad, Dan Hughes of the Storm and Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx will serve as co-coaches for the exhibition games and tournament in Serbia.
Former University of Washington star Kelsey Plum is also a member of the U.S. team.