Former Gonzaga University women’s basketball star Courtney Vandersloot has been added to the U.S. women’s national team pool.
That makes the Chicago Sky all-star rookie one of 26 players in the pool to make the 12-member Olympic team for next summer’s games in London.
“I was really excited when I found out,” said Vandersloot in a Team USA release. “I felt fortunate to even get the opportunity to train with them in May, but once I found out they were adding me to the pool I was really excited. It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to play and learn from some of the best players in the world. I thought maybe later in my career, I would hopefully be given this chance, but I really didn’t think it would be this soon. To even be considered is an honor.”
Vandersloot participated in the national team training camp in Las Vegas.
The addition of Vandersloot and Baylor junior Brittney Griner was made Monday by Team USA and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.
Vandersloot, picked third in the WNBA draft, is averaging 8.3 points and 4.4 assists (seventh in the league). She led Gonzaga to the Elite Eight last year and became the first player in NCAA history with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career assists.
If Vandersloot makes the team next year she would back up veteran Sue Bird.
The U.S. has already qualified for the Olympics by winning the world championship last year. The Americans will most likely train again in October once the WNBA season ends and then again next spring. It’s always difficult for the team to find training time with player commitments to play overseas in the winter.