Former UConn star will be ready for Olympic games
|AP Diana Taurasi has missed much of the WNBA season with hip and ankle injuries, but says she'll be ready to play for the U.S. Olympic team. (Elaine Thompson (STF))|
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Diana Taurasi is healthy again and raring to go.
The Phoenix star missed the Mercury’s last 16 games with a hip flexor and ankle injury, but said she is ready for the Olympics, which begin in 2 weeks.
“I’m feeling really good, I’ll be ready to go,” Taurasi said. “I can’t wait to get to D.C. to start playing again.”
The Americans will train together in D.C. for 2 days before playing Brazil in an exhibition game Monday night. From there they will head to Manchester for a game against Britain before a five-day training session in Istanbul.
The 30-year-old Taurasi, who will be playing in her third Olympics, didn’t have any worries that she’d miss the London Games.
“No, I didn’t have any fear, I knew I’d be ready to play,” Taurasi said. “Coach [Geno Auriemma] and I have been texting each other a lot, he’s excited. Whenever we get together with the national team, it’s an exciting time. The Olympics is an amazing opportunity to show all the hard work we’ve put in as individuals.”
Despite only playing 36 minutes so far this WNBA season, Taurasi isn’t concerned that she’ll be out of game shape. Her rehabilitation began in late May with 3 weeks of physical therapy before moving on to a strength and conditioning stage. She didn’t get back onto the court until about 3 weeks ago.
Taurasi plans to use the training camp in Washington D.C. this weekend as a chance to get herself back into game mode.
The former UConn star isn’t the only member of the U.S. women’s national team who has been banged up in the early part of the WNBA season. Atlanta standout Angel McCoughtry has been sidelined since July 1 with a left knee sprain.
“I anticipate that Angel will be at full strength by the time training camp opens on Saturday,” said Dream coach Marynell Meadors, who is an assistant on the Olympic team. “She’s been rehabbing and working all week on getting her knee stronger so that she can play without pain.”
Sue Bird and Seimone Augustus also missed games in the early part of the WNBA season, but Taurasi wasn’t worried.
“People play a lot of basketball,” she said. “Sue’s taken some games, Seimone with her hip. Everyone’s missed a game who is on the Olympic team. Once we get together in D.C., we’ll be 100 percent and ready to go.”
Taurasi also wasn’t worried that the lawsuit facing coach Auriemma will be a distraction to the team’s ultimate goal of winning a fifth straight gold medal.
“We’re all old enough that we’ve been through a lot of distractions in our life,” she said. “We will keep the ultimate goal in focus and try to do our best. Everyone will be fine.”
The U.S. women’s national team opens up its Olympic play on July 28 against Croatia. Other teams in the Americans’ group are China, Angola, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
U.S. Women’s basketball roster
No. Name Ht. Pos. WNBA team
4 Lindsay Whalen 5-9 G Minnesota
5 Seimone Augustus 6-0 F Minnesota
6 Sue Bird 5-9 G Seattle
7 Maya Moore 6-0 F Minnesota
8 Angel McCoughtry 6-1 F Atlanta
9 Asjha Jones 6-3 F Connecticut
10 Tamika Catchings 6-1 F Indiana
11 Swin Cash 6-1 F Chicago
12 Diana Taurasi 6-0 G/F Phoenix
13 Sylvia Fowles 6-6 C Chicago
14 Tina Charles 6-4 C Connecticut
15 Candace Parker 6-4 G/F Sparks
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