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Three former UConn women’s basketball stars named to FIBA World Cup rosters

After sending nine alumni to the Olympics last summer, the Huskies will have much less representation in Australia.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Three former UConn women’s basketball stars will participate in the 2022 FIBA World Cup in Australia this month: Breanna Stewart (USA), Kia Nurse (Canada) and Gabby Williams (France). It’s a significantly smaller group than the Olympics last summer, when there were nine Huskies in Tokyo.

This will be Stewart’s fifth major tournament with the senior US national team and her third World Cup. She’s earned two Olympic gold medals and two World Cups gold medals while taking home MVP honors at the 2018 World Cup as well. Stef Dolson was the only other former UConn player to make Team USA’s training camp. The other four Huskies from the Olympic roster — Sue Bird (retired), Tina Charles (performance), Napheesa Collier (missed most of the WNBA season while pregnant) and Diana Taurasi (performance) — weren’t invited to camp.

Meanwhile, Nurse is set to play competitive basketball for the first time since tearing her ACL in the 2021 WNBA Playoffs. She’s been a staple for Canada’s national team since 2016 and is competing in her second World Cup. Aaliyah Edwards, who went to the Tokyo Olympics with Canada, received an invite to compete for a spot but withdrew due to academic obligations since she would’ve missed over two weeks of the fall semester.

Williams is in her second major tournament with France after helping Les Blues to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Though she was born in Sparks, Nevada, she still has family in France and is a dual citizen.

Team USA kicks off play on Thursday against Belgium at 9:30 p.m. ET while Canada will follow 90 minutes later against Serbia. France’s first game is Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET against host Australia. All games will be broadcast on ESPN+.