Four WNBA players—the Sky's Stefanie Dolson, the Wings' Allisha Gray, the Aces' Kelsey Plum and the Storm's Katie Lou Samuelson—will represent the U.S. in the inaugural women's three-on-three Olympic basketball competition at the Tokyo Games.
The three-on-three tournament will feature eight women's teams and will run from July 24 to July 28 at Aomi Urban Sports Park. The preliminary round of the tournament will take place from July 24 to July 27, followed by the quarterfinals on July 27, and the semifinals and finals on July 28.
All four players are first-time Olympians, though, each has experience playing for USA Basketball in various formats. Kara Lawson, the women's basketball coach at Duke, will coach the three-on-three team. As part of Wednesday's news, Lawson said she is thrilled for each of the four athletes.
“Their dedication these past 18 months to help position USA Basketball in Tokyo is being rewarded," Lawson said in a statement. "Now, the real work begins. I’m confident that this group will be able to put together performances that represent our standard. This will be our most challenging tournament to date, but I love the competitors that we are bringing with us.”
Lawson, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, has served as the coach and adviser to the team since '17, guiding USA Basketball's three-on-three teams to six gold medals across multiple competitions. While three-on-three rules do not allow in-game coaching, Lawson guides the team during practices and in its preparations.
Dolson, Gray and Plum played in their first international three-on-three event in 2021. Competition differ from the long-standing, full-court event in that three-on-three half-court games are played outdoors in under 10 minutes, with points counted by ones and twos up to 21. With those three players, plus Samuelson, the team won the Big Twelve International Tournament in Voiron, France, before the '21 FIBA three-on-three Olympic Qualifying Tournament in May, which was where the U.S. stamped its ticket to Tokyo.
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