The best women’s basketball players in the world are coming to Delaware. Fans will have an opportunity to watch the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team live in action this summer during the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon. The USA Basketball Women’s National Team will host Australia, Canada and France in a four-team, three-stop tournament July 27-31.
The event tips off at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in Newark July 27 at 5 p.m. (all times listed are local, EDT). The first game will feature Australia, the world’s second-ranked team, and Canada, the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship gold medalist. The second matchup, which will start at 7:30 p.m., will be between the USA and France, which took the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.
The Delaware Sports Commission (DSC) has been working with the University of Delaware Athletics to assist in fundraising efforts to co-host the games in Newark.
“The Delaware Sport Commission is excited about the opportunity to work with USA Basketball again and further strengthen our relationship with the US Olympic Movement”, said Dr. Matthew Robinson, Chairman of the sports commission and professor of sport management at the University of Delaware. “This is also a great opportunity for the state to receive national and international exposure. The DSC, UD Athletics and Gene Delle Donne worked with USA Basketball throughout the spring to get it done. It was a true team effort. As a UD faculty member, hosting such a high profile international event fits with the University’s mission of being a global university. Finally and most importantly, it is great that Elena Delle Donne will have the chance to play before her Delaware family before chasing her dream of winning Gold at the Rio Games.”
The teams will also face off July 29 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Australia plays France at 4:30 p.m., and the USA takes on Canada at 7 p.m. On the tournament’s final day at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Canada and France tip-off at 1:30 p.m. The USA and Australia will begin play at 4 p.m.
From there, the U.S. team will travel to Houston for United States Olympic Team processing and a final practice on Aug. 2, prior to traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games will go on sale to the general public starting June 13. For ticket information visit USAB.COM/SHOWCASE.
“This tournament with Australia, Canada and France, three of the top teams in the world, is an incredible opportunity for our team to prepare for Rio,” 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. “I think each of these games will be competitive and be a really, really good preview of what you’ll see in August at the Olympics. Two years ago we were able to play games at Delaware and Bridgeport, and the fan support at both of those games was tremendous. Then when you add Madison Square Garden into the mix, what better way to give our team a final send-off before Rio? I’m excited about getting our team together, we haven’t had a chance to practice yet with just these 12 players, but they’ve all played together and I think they will show the fans something special in each of these three games.”
Five-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team features three-time gold medalists and tri-captains Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); and 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Competing in their first Olympic Games are Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut).
FIBA on March 11, 2016, held the draw to determine the Aug. 6-10 preliminary round groups, and the United States (2014 FIBA World Championship gold medalist) was placed in Group B along with Canada, Senegal (2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist), Serbia (2015 EuroBasket gold medalist) and two teams that will earn their berths at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, June 13-19, in Nantes, France. The top five finishing teams from the Olympic qualifier will earn a berth to Rio, with the second and fourth best teams included in Group B.
The U.S. will open play against against Senegal on Aug. 7, followed by the No. 4 team from the Olympic qualifier on Aug. 8, Serbia on Aug. 10, Canada Aug. 12, and the USA concludes preliminary round play on Aug. 14 against the No. 2 team from the Olympic qualifier.
Auriemma will be assisted through the 2016 Olympic Games by DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley.
2016 Olympic Games: The 2016 Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 12 nations will compete in the Olympic women’s basketball competition. In addition to host Brazil and the USA, which earned its berth by virtue of winning gold at the 2014 FIBA World Championship, the gold-medal winning teams from each of FIBA’s five zones have qualified for Rio, including Australia (FIBA Oceania), Canada, Japan (FIBA Asia), Senegal (FIBA Africa) and Serbia (FIBA Europe).
The top-placing teams in each zone tournament -- not including the champions -- qualified for the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (June 13-19, 2016 @ Nantes, France), and those teams include: Cameroon and Nigeria from FIBA Africa; Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela from FIBA Americas; China and South Korea from FIBA Asia; Belarus, France, Spain and Turkey from FIBA Europe; and New Zealand from FIBA Oceania.
U.S. Olympic women’s basketball teams have earned a record seven gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal, and are 58-3 all-time in Olympic competition. The 2016 U.S. team will enter Rio riding a 41-game Olympic winning streak that dates back to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics bronze medal game.
Since the inception of the 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team program, the USA National Team, in addition to its record five-straight Olympic gold medals, has captured four FIBA World Championship gold medals, one FIBA World Championship bronze medal and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal, while compiling a remarkable 86-1 record for a .989 winning percentage in those events. Further, USA National Teams in exhibition contests since 1995 boast of a 186-15 record (.925 winning percentage).
USA Basketball: Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2012-15 compiled a spectacular 151-6 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit, and posted a 92-15 win-loss record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas 3x3 competitions.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s FIBA World Cup and women’s FIBA World Championship; men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s FIBA Americas U18 Championships; men’s FIBA Americas U16 Championship; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; and the women’s Youth Olympic Games. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official website of USA Basketball at www.usab.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball, plus.google.com/+usabasketball, instagram.com/usabasketball and youtube.com/usab.
Delaware Sports Commission: The Delaware Sports Commission, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., was established to attract sporting events to Delaware to benefit the sports industry and community and to positively impact Delaware's economy. The DSC also assists with the retention and growth of existing sports events. To date, the DSC has partnered with more than 50 regional and national events, paving the way for larger-scale future events to be held in Delaware. Follow the Delaware Sports Commission on Facebook and Twitter @Delaware_Sports.
For more information, visit the official Delaware Sports Commission website at www.delawaresports.org or call (302) 672-6832.