AP Sources: Candace Parker left off Rio roster
NEW YORK (AP) Candace Parker was left off the U.S. women's basketball Olympic roster, according to people familiar with the decision.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist won't be one of the 12 players revealed when the team is announced, likely Wednesday, for the Rio de Janeiro Games in August. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't been announced yet.
The 30-year-old forward was informed of USA Basketball's decision not to include her for Rio last week, the people said.
Parker helped the U.S. win gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She was the team's leading rebounder in the London Games four years ago. She is a two-time WNBA MVP and was fifth in the voting for the award last year despite sitting out the first half of the season to rest injuries. When Parker did return, she averaged 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and a career-high 6.3 assists.
With Parker off the team, it is likely that Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart, who play the same position as Parker, will make their first Olympic rosters.
Delle Donne won the WNBA's MVP last year and Stewart helped UConn win a fourth straight national championship earlier this month. She was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and also has helped USA Basketball win gold medals at nearly every level she's played.
USA Basketball declined comment.
Parker is perhaps the most accomplished player to not make a U.S. Olympic roster. She had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the 2012 gold medal victory over France.
ESPN was the first to report that Parker wasn't on the team.
National team director Carol Callan said during the team's training camp in February that putting the roster together wasn't always about having the 12 best players, but having a team that fits together the best. Parker was excused from that training camp as well as Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles, as all three were playing in a Chinese league. Parker did play on an exhibition tour last October, averaging 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds for the U.S. in the four games. She had a triple-double in one of them.
The U.S. has won without Parker in the past, winning both the 2010 and 2014 world championships. The Los Angeles Sparks star player missed both of those tournaments because of injuries.
The Americans will be trying for a sixth straight Olympic gold medal in Rio.
Parker could still potentially make the team as an alternate. With the WNBA season set to begin on May 14, there is a chance that one of the 12 members of the team could get injured before the Olympics.
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