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Analyzing U.S. women’s basketball roster for World Championships

Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02: Diana Taurasi #3 (R) and Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during game three of the WNBA Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Lynx at US Airways Center on September 2, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. 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. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The U.S. women’s basketball roster for the FIBA World Championships was finalized Tuesday, including Brittney Griner for the first time at a major tournament along with seven Olympians among 12 players overall.

The U.S. opens group play against China on Wednesday.

Here’s the team:

Guards
Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) — Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012)
Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock)
Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) — Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012)
Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) — Olympian (2012)

Forwards
Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) — Olympian (2008, 2012)
Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury)
Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream) — Olympian (2012)
Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) — Olympian (2012)
Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)
Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut)

Centers
Tina Charles (New York Liberty) — Olympian (2012)
Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)

Some notes:

*Bird, the oldest team member at 33, is the first U.S. woman to make four World Championships teams. If she makes the Rio Olympics for her fourth Games, she would be the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player since Lisa Leslie in 2008. Only Teresa Edwards has played for the U.S. in five Olympic basketball tournaments.

*Stewart, the only college player on the team and a rising UConn junior, is the youngest member at 20 years old. If she makes the Rio Olympics, she would be the youngest U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player since 1988, when the oldest player was 26, according to sports-reference.com.

*The 2012 Olympians not on the 2014 World Championships team are: Tamika Catchings (35), Swin Cash (35), Asjha Jones (34), Sylvia Fowles (28) and Candace Parker (28). Catchings withdrew due to injuries from the WNBA season. Fowles is out with a foot injury. Parker is out with a knee injury.

*Two young players to remember who were not on the 2012 Olympic or 2014 World Championships teams are Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne. Diggins, the former Notre Dame star and 2013 WNBA No. 3 overall pick by the Tulsa Shock, was one of three players cut over the weekend (Jantel Lavender was the final cut Tuesday). Delle Donne, the former Delaware star and 2013 WNBA No. 2 overall pick by the Chicago Sky, withdrew from the national team earlier this month due to injury.

*Ten of the 12 women on the 2010 World Championships roster made the 2012 Olympic team.

*Eight of the 12 women on the 2006 World Championships roster made the 2008 Olympic team.

The FIBA World Championships winner will earn a berth in the 2016 Olympic tournament. If the U.S. does not win, it can still get into the Olympics by winning the 2015 FIBA Americas title.

France beat the U.S. 76-72 in an exhibition on Sunday, the first defeat for the Americans since 2011. The U.S. had crushed France by 36 points in the 2012 Olympic final for its fifth straight gold.

Rio Olympic logo revealed for Team Brazil

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