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Breaking Down the U.S. Women's Basketball Olympic Hopefuls

With the 2012 London Olympic Games right around the corner, the four-time defending gold medal U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team has recently announced the 21 finalists for the roster. With UConn’sGenoAuriemma as coach and talented, experienced finalists, the team will defiantly be a force to be reckoned with.

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The optimistic finalists were selected by the national team’s player selection committee to compete for the final roster which will represent the U.S. in the London Olympics. The U.S. qualified for the Games by winning the 2010 world championship. All 12 members of that team are finalists for London.

Picking the team will be a hard process considering each finalist brings her own talents to the table. These 21 finalists include nine Olympic gold medalists, the entire roster of the 2010 world champions and a collegiate star. This includes two-time Olympic gold medalists Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, and Sue Bird. They are joined by 2004 Olympic champion Swin Cash and 2008 gold medalists Kara Lawson, Seimone Augustus, CappiePondexter, Candace Parker, and Sylvia Fowles. All of the hopefuls are professional basketball players except one collegiate player, Brittney Griner, who is eager to become the first college player to make a U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team since 1988.

One third of the U.S. Olympic finalists are former UConn players, trained by Auriemma himself. These graduates include Maya Moore, Cash, Bird, Tina Charles, Asjha Jones, Renee Montgomery, and Taurasi.

“I got a very delicate situation here being the coach because I’m trying to step away sometimes and look at it objectively,” Auriemma said. “I try to appreciate them as someone looking at it from the outside. I’m amazed at what they’ve done since they left UConn, and how happy I am for them, how proud I am for them and how they have represented themselves, their families, the University of Connecticut and USA Basketball. I am trying to look it that way, and as a coach I am trying not to let it cloud my view looking at them any different than I look at any of the other kids that are finalist.”

Luckily for GenoAuriemma, the final roster will be decided by the U.S. women’s national selection committee. The choosing of the official team is expected to be completed by May.