SEATTLE, Wash. – Following two days of training in Seattle featuring 19 members of the 2018-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team athlete pool, Duke University alumna Elizabeth Williams was selected one of 13 athletes to compete for USA in the April 26 exhibition contest against China at KeyArena. The team for the friendly contest versus China was chosen by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Selection Committee.
Tickets for the game, which will tip-off at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT), are available via StormBasketball.com or by calling the Storm at 206-217-9622. The game will be streamed live online at usab.com/live, and on the USA Basketball Facebook and YouTube channels.
Set to compete in the USA's exhibition game against China are: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); and Williams (Atlanta Dream).
A 2015 Blue Devil graduate, Williams enters her third season with the Atlanta Dream and was a four-time Associated Press All-America at Duke. Williams, the 2016 WNBA’s Most Improved Player, has started the last 70 games in a row with the Dream, while averaging 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds in 2016 and 10.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2017. She is one of the top shot-blockers in the league.
"These are hard decisions to be made, when you have to send such good players home," said Dawn Staley, USA National Team and University of South Carolina head coach. "But, their sacrifice will one day pay off, hopefully in the near future for them. The 13 players that were assembled to compete against China will give us an opportunity to see some of our experienced players back together again, along with some of the younger, inexperienced players. It'll give them some experience playing international basketball at a high level alongside Olympians. You can't take for granted playing China. We're going to play to win the basketball game, but we're also going to utilize some players so we can see them play in a game like this.
"This is a game in which we only could pick a certain amount of players. So, it'll be a game in which we are looking at different players at different positions. What it means is that they made the cut this particular time, but there will be other opportunities for the entire pool of players to prove themselves over again. I'm just happy that the players were able to come and we had the chance to work with them. That's what makes our national team great - the sacrifices that everybody gives to be a part of the preparation of winning a World Cup."
Duke alumna Chelsea Gray is also a member of the USA Basketball National Team pool, but is currently playing overseas and was not available to compete at this training.