Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird and her teammates on the 2012 USA Women’s National Team will take the court together when they host the China Women’s National Team in an exhibition game on Saturday, May 12, 7:30pm at KeyArena. It will be one of only two games the National Team will play on American soil this summer.
The May 12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Showcase is the highlight of a Seattle-based training camp May 11-13 that will include scrimmages with the Japan National Team, the Canadian National Team and the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
All 11 players selected to the 2012 USA Women’s National Team, which was announced March 30, are expected in Seattle for the mini-camp and May 12 game. The group includes one Storm player (Bird), three WNBA MVPs (Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi), seven Rookies of the Year and the last four (Catchings, Parker, Taurasi, Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore) and eight members of last year’s All-WNBA First and Second Teams (Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Charles, Sylvia Fowles, McCoughtry and Lindsay Whalen).
Tickets for the May 12 Seattle Showcase go on sale April 17 and may be purchased at http://www.StormBasketball.com, http://www.ticketmaster.com, any Ticketmaster outlet or by calling 800-745-3000. Group tickets (10 or more) may be purchased thru the Seattle Storm Ticket Office by calling 206-217-WNBA.
“What an incredible opportunity for Seattle,” Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant said. “This is a unique opportunity to see a collection of world-class athletes together on one court, right here in Seattle. The Storm is honored to be involved and we look forward to hosting a first-class event from start to finish.”
The only other exhibition the USA National Team will play in the country this year will be July 16 in Washington, D.C. as part of a double-header with the U.S. Men’s National Team, thus making the Showcase in Seattle one of just two opportunities, and the only one west of the Mississippi, to see this year’s team in person. The National Team last visited Seattle in 1995, beating the University of Washington women 92-47 as part of its exhibition tour prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma, a seven-time NCAA champion who led the U.S. women to the 2010 FIBA World Championship, is the head coach of the 2012 USA Team. Auriemma has coached just one other game in Seattle before – a 109-51 UConn win over UW in the first game after the renovation of Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The China Women’s National Team won the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship gold medal. The USA and China have played each other 26 times in various major tournaments since 1977 and the U.S. owns a 25-1 record over China. The lone loss came at the 1993 World University Games, when China edged the USA 75-73.