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Team USA to play Germany for pre-Olympic exhibition

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The United States women’s national basketball team will play its first game in London since winning the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics when it takes on Germany in a pre-Paris Olympics exhibition on July 23.

The tune-up will be held at London’s O2 arena. It will be part of a series of showcase games for USA Basketball, as the men’s national team will play South Sudan and Germany at O2 Arena on July 20 and July 22, respectively.

“USA Basketball is looking forward to adding our women’s national team to the USA Basketball Showcase in London,” Jim Tooley, the CEO of USA Basketball said in a news release. “Not only will playing Germany provide a great opportunity for our team, but it will highlight the growth of women’s basketball around the world as we prepare to defend our gold medal in Paris.”

It will also pit Team USA against an eventual opponent in the Paris Olympics, as Germany and the U.S. are both in Pool C. Germany is led by Dallas Wings star Satou Sabally, her sister and New York Liberty forward Nyara Sabally, and Liberty wing Leonie Fiebich. Japan and Belgium are the other two countries in the American team’s pool.

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The women’s national team’s exhibition against Germany will come just days after the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game, which will see the U.S. Olympic team compete against the WNBA All-Stars. That exhibition will take place in Phoenix and is set for July 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET. USA Basketball said Thursday that more information, including training camp details and final team rosters, will be announced at a later date.

The U.S. women’s national team will be looking to win an eighth consecutive gold medal in the upcoming Olympics.

Who will be on Team USA and try to do so remains in question as the WNBA season approaches. USA Basketball held recent pre-Olympic training camps in early February and in Cleveland during the women’s Final Four. The final team could ultimately make a statement about what the committee values: youth and the future or experience and proven success. Caitlin Clark, the presumptive No. 1 pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft, is in the selection pool, though she has yet to attend a senior national team camp this cycle. She was invited to the camp in Cleveland but did not participate after Iowa advanced to the Final Four.

Other potential first-time Olympic participants invited to recent camps include Aliyah Boston, Rhyne Howard, Sabrina Ionescu, Arike Ogunbowale and Shakira Austin. Allisha Gray and Jackie Young both won gold medals in 3×3 at the Tokyo Games but would be first-time 5-on-5 Olympic participants. Diana Taurasi is poised to be the group’s veteran, as she’s looking to win a sixth consecutive gold.

“When we invite people to be part of USA Basketball training camp, sometimes it’s with an eye to the future,” women’s national team committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti said during the February camp. “I can remember when Aliyah Boston was at her first mini-camp, I can remember when Breanna Stewart was at her first national team camp, I can remember when many players have come to camp when they were in college or maybe just finishing college, and some made Olympic teams and some of them did not. I think it’s about giving them that exposure.”

Stewart played with the senior national team at the 2014 World Cup and in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto before making her Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games, months removed from the end of her college career at UConn. Taurasi was the youngest player on the 2004 gold-medal-winning team in Athens.

“USA Basketball has always been a certain way of play, where you put everything that you do well aside for the betterment of the team,” Taurasi said last week. “It doesn’t matter who wears the jersey, the style of play is the same. You try to share the ball, you try to play together and try to play unselfish and the ultimate goal is to win no matter who has the jersey on.”

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(Photo: Mike Lawrie / Getty Images)

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