USA Basketball bestows team of the year distinction to USA Women's team that dominated at the FIBA World Cup en route to a third straight gold medal.
The USA Basketball women’s team that won a third consecutive FIBA World Cup title and featured a trio of Seattle Storm stars, including Breanna Stewart, was named the 2018 USA Basketball Team of the Year.
“We came together, because we had the ‘next person up mentality,'” said Stewart, the World Cup tournament MVP who was honored as the 2018 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. “There were some people who were on the Olympic team who didn’t come to the World Cup this year, so there were new opportunities for younger players who didn’t have as much experience playing for USA Basketball, but they stepped right up.”
Coached by Dawn Staley, the USA team included Storm standouts Sue Bird, a four-time FIBA World Cup gold medalist, and Jewell Loyd, who made her first appearance with the senior team.
Storm coach Dan Hughes also served as an assistant on Staley’s staff.
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“The FIBA World Cup always is an incredibly intense and competitive event, and what the U.S. team accomplished was remarkable,” USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said. “The roster was not finalized until just days before the competition, yet the USA played with great teamwork and was a joy to watch on and off the court.”
The star-studded U.S. team included former Washington Huskies standout Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun), Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces).
Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve and George Washington University coach Jennifer Rizzotti served as assistants.
The United States breezed to a perfect 6-0 record in the 16-team tournament while winning by an average margin of 20.3 points a game. The U.S. trounced Australia 73-56 in the final to capture the title and qualify for the 2020 Olympics Games.