Bird, Taurasi to lead U.S. women’s basketball team in Tokyo

Diana Taurasi US Women's Basketball Olympics
Diana Taurasi (USA) of USA reacts during the game.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will compete in their fifth Olympics after being named on Monday in the U.S. women’s basketball squad who will bid for a seventh consecutive gold medal in Tokyo.

The two players headline a 12-member squad that includes six first-time Olympians and will be coached by Dawn Staley, a three-time gold medallist as a player, who helped start the U.S. gold medal run at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

By being named in the team on Monday, Taurasi and Bird, who won their first golds at the 2000 Sydney Games, will join an elite group of only six athletes worldwide, men or women, who have played in five Olympic basketball competitions.

“I’m honored to be the coach of such an amazing collection of talented women, both those named to the team and those who gave their all the last few years but won’t be with us in Tokyo,” Staley said in a news release.

“The fact that some of the players who won’t suit up this summer would start for any other country is a testament to their talent and to what USA Basketball has done to build a program that lifts up our female athletes every single day.”

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird laughs during game two of the 2020 WNBA Finals at IMG Academy.Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The women’s basketball competition at the Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 26-Aug. 8.

2021 Olympics Women’s Basketball odds

USA -1250
Australia +1000
Spain +2000
France +2500
Serbia +3000
Belgium +3500
Canada +4000
China +10000
Japan +10000
Nigeria +25000
South Korea +50000
Puerto Rico +100000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

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