Former UConn Huskies have a long tradition of success with USA Basketball, and this past week was a great example. As USA women’s basketball made headlines at home and across the globe, Huskies from the past, present and future were a part of the news cycle.
Paige Bueckers earns MVP honors as she leads U19 Team USA to World Cup gold
The No. 1 2020 prospect and UConn women’s basketball commit, Paige Bueckers, has had herself quite the summer.
Over the weekend, Bueckers scored 17 points and led the United States to a 74-70 overtime victory over Australia for the title of the women’s FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok. Her performance earned MVP honors to the tune of averages of 11.6 points, 5.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds across seven games. She’s in good Husky company with that MVP trophy too, with Breanna Stewart having previously won the award.
Here’s some footage of her final:
.@PaigeBueckers1 was spectacular in the #FIBAU19 Final, on her way to a team-high 17 points for @USABJNT ! pic.twitter.com/cHJf8e9KNq— FIBA (@FIBA) July 28, 2019
Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa win 3x3 gold
Current Huskies Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Christyn Williams participated in the 3-on-3 women’s basketball competition at the Pan American Games. They took home an American gold Monday afternoon at the games in Lima, Peru, with a 21-17 win over Argentina in the championship round. Williams and Nelson-Ododa, paired with Oregon seniors Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard, dominated throughout the competition and finished an impressive 7-0 in all games played.
USA USA USA USA#GoDucks @usab3x3 pic.twitter.com/KRrGuaCb0P— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) July 29, 2019
As an added bonus for UConn basketball fans, the two Huskies gained some familiarity with Oregon’s two biggest stars which could come in handy during what should be a top-5 match up in January or February of 2020 (date is still TBA).
Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird highlight athletes committed to expanded Team USA training
Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, USA basketball announced an expanded schedule including five training camps between this November and April 2020. Former UConn greats Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird highlight the pool of eight WNBA players who have already committed to this extended training schedule.
According to High Post Hoops, the remainder of the 2019-20 USA basketball talent pool includes an additional eight former Huskies. 2019 WNBA All-Stars Tina Charles and Napheesa Collier highlight the list. Stefanie Dolson, Tiffany Hayes, Maya Moore, Katie Lou Samuelson, Breanna Stewart, and Morgan Tuck are also included.
The extended training schedule also includes a waiver from the NCAA to play exhibition games against top college programs. Which college teams will participate in those exhibition games has not yet been announced.