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USA Basketball names Olympic women’s team finalists

Brittney Griner, Maya Moore

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 3: Maya Moore #7 and Brittney Griner #15 of the Women’s Senior U.S. National Team block a shoot against Endene Miyem #5 of France in the Quarterfinals of the 2014 FIBA World Championships on October 3, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Ten of the 12 members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team are among 25 finalists to make the Rio squad.

Three-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings, plus the last four WNBA MVPs Elena Delle Donne, Maya Moore, Candace Parker and Tina Charles and Brittney Griner were among the finalists announced Monday.

“We could split them down the middle and have two very competitive teams,” coach Geno Auriemma said in a press release. “We have a great mix of gold medalists and players who are hungry to play in their first Olympics. There is versatility at all positions. Our posts are the strongest we’ve seen in years, we have guys who can shoot, guys who can defend, and I’m just happy I don’t have to make the decision as to who will be playing in Rio.”

The two members of the 2012 Olympic team out of the running are former UConn players Swin Cash and Asjha Jones.

Competition to make the Olympic team will be fierce.

Delle Donne and Griner lead the group of potential first-time Olympians, including guard Skylar Diggins, one of the final four cuts from the 2014 World Championship team, reigning WNBA No. 1 pick and Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd and UConn senior Breanna Stewart.

Stewart, 21, is younger than any U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player since 1988, according to sports-reference.com. Stewart did make the 2014 World Championship roster.

Catchings, 36, is the oldest finalist and, in August, will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player, according to sports-reference.com.

The expected final training camp before the Olympic team is named will be Feb. 21-23 at the University of Connecticut.

FINALISTS

Guards
Sue Bird — Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012)
Skylar Diggins
Briann January
Jewell Loyd
Kayla McBride
Danielle Robinson
Odyssey Sims
Diana Taurasi — Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012)
Courtney Vandersloot
Lindsay Whalen — Olympian (2012)

Forwards
Seimone Augustus — Olympian (2008, 2012)
Tamika Catchings -- Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012)
Elena Delle Donne
Candice Dupree
Angel McCoughtry — Olympian (2012)
Maya Moore — Olympian (2012)
Chiney Ogumwike
Nneka Ogwumike
Candace Parker -- Olympian (2008, 2012)
Breanna Stewart

Centers
Tina Charles -- Olympian (2012)
Stefanie Dolson
Sylvia Fowles -- Olympian (2008, 2012)
Brittney Griner
Jantel Lavender

MORE: Sue Bird looks ahead to ‘likely last Olympics’

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