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    Olympic Basketball Takes Shape as National Teams Post Rosters

    With less than three weeks before the Paris Olympics, official women’s basketball rosters are continuing to emerge in what’s shaping up to be an elite 12-nation tournament.

    Three teams — China, Puerto Rico, and Serbia — have yet to announce their players, while Nigeria and Germany still have to whittle their provisional lineups down before the Summer Games begin.

    Canada, Australia, Spain, and Belgium all recently dropped their 12-player squads, joining previously announced rosters from Tokyo medalists Team USA (gold), Japan (silver), and France (bronze).

    Out of the 9 finalized and provisional teams, 27 players representing five countries currently play in the WNBA, with an additional 10 competing in the NCAA.

    Australian basketball icon Lauren Jackson returns to international play for her fifth Olympic Games. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

    International Olympic basketball teams to watch

    With no less than seven WNBA players, Australia’s Olympic basketball lineup lists the most W stars outside of Team USA.

    Led by NY Liberty coach Sandy Brondello, the Opals feature four rookies as well as three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson. At 43, the Aussie will become a five-time Olympian this summer after a 12-year hiatus from Olympic competition. 

    Jackson, who called the final days leading up to the Opals roster drop “the hardest, pressure wise,” will be looking to add to her medal collection in Paris — she’s never left the Games without one.

    As for Canada, they’re bringing four tough WNBA standouts — Aaliyah Edwards (Mystics), Kia Nurse (Sparks), Laeticia Amihere (Dream), and Bridget Carleton (Lynx) — to Paris. Former Fever and Lynx center Natalie Achonwa also made the roster, becoming Canada’s first four-time Olympic women’s basketball player.

    “Knowing this is my last time in that jersey, I want to cherish every second of this journey,” Achonwa commented upon making the team.

    belgium guard katie vanloo takes on team usa's jewell loyd
    Washington’s Julie Vanloo (Belgium) is one of several WNBA players set to face Team USA in Paris. (Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

    Stiff Olympic competition for Team USA

    Team USA’s path to an eighth-straight gold isn’t a walk in the park, with fellow Group C competitors Japan, Germany, and a strong Belgian side primed to give the States a run for its money.

    Belgium made their Olympic debut in Tokyo, yet enter Paris as a serious podium contender behind 2021 WNBA champion and current FIBA EuroBasket MVP Emma Meesseman.

    Outside Group C, France arguably poses the biggest Olympic basketball threat to the US. Les Bleues will look to former Sky and Storm forward Gabby Williams — France’s leader in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals — to help them move up the table.



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