Charles, Fowles highlight U.S. AmeriCup team

Sep 19, 2019


CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Former Olympians and WNBA MVP award winners Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx will lead a 12-member U.S. women’s basketball team in the AmeriCup competition Sept. 22-29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ten countries will compete in the AmeriCup, with the top eight advancing to the FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament Nov. 10-18.

Among the other 10 members of the team, nine are also pro players: Jordin Canada (Seattle Storm), 2019 WNBA rookie of the year Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx), Diamond DeShields and Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky), Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas Wings), Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky), Khadijah Sessions (a former South Carolina player who plays in Finland), and Brittney Sykes and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).

The collegiate player on the squad is UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who will be a sophomore this season for the Huskies.

“It’s a good group,” U.S. coach Dawn Staley said in a statement. “We’ve got the spectrum: the USA national team first-timers, multi-time Olympians and then we’ve got some players who are very young, but who had great WNBA seasons. So I think it’s great for us to see where our USA national team pool is overall.”

The AmeriCup field is in two pools. The USA will compete in Group B against Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. Group A is made up of Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

After group play, the semifinals will be Sept. 28, and the final on Sept. 29. The U.S. team opens vs. Paraguay at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 22, followed by games against Colombia (12:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 24), vs. Argentina (5:30 p.m. Sept. 25) and vs. Brazil (3 p.m. Sept. 26).

All of the USA games will be shown live on ESPN+. Assisting Staley on the team will be Seattle’s Dan Hughes, Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve and George Washington’s Jennifer Rizzotti.

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