Asjha Jones gets final Olympic spot

Asjha Jones of the Connecticut Sun (15) was named to the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team on Monday, the sixth former UConn great to make the roster that will play for a gold medal in London this summer under her old coach, Geno Auriemma.
Asjha Jones of the Connecticut Sun (15) was named to the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team on Monday, the sixth former UConn great to make the roster that will play for a gold medal in London this summer under her old coach, Geno Auriemma. Dana Jensen/ The Day Buy Photo

Colorado Springs, Colo. Connecticut Sun forward Asjha Jones was named to the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team on Monday, finalizing the roster for the London games.

Jones joins the 11 previously announced team members that include Sun teammate Tina Charles, former Sun teammate Lindsay Whalen and former UConn stars Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Swin Cash.

"It's an honor," Jones said in a statement through USA Basketball. "My mom, everyone in my family is so excited for me. I think it's exciting how people respond to you when you tell them. A lot of people want to cry. Just to see the way people react to the news is really special. I'm really exited. I'm so excited to be a part of this. It was kind of like I was in disbelief and shock."

Jones, who was part of the FIBA world championship in 2010, is a 10-year WNBA veteran, playing all but one season in Connecticut. Jones is a two-time WNBA All-Star and was named to the 2008 All-WNBA second team.

"I'm excited," said USA and UConn coach Geno Auriemma. "I think it's well deserved. She adds an awful lot of maturity, experience and talent to this team. Some of the teams that we're going to have to beat in the Olympics, the best teams are really the ones who have the most experienced post players.

"Asjha has proven herself both in the WNBA and overseas to be able to defend anybody and to be able to score. She's got experience. All of the things you would look for in a player, she has those qualities."

The final spot on the roster was open, following the announcement of the first 11 at the Final Four in Denver. Baylor center Brittney Griner withdrew her name from consideration last week.

"This decision was very difficult due to the breadth and quality of the USA National Team pool," said USA Basketball Women's National Team Director Carol Callan, a member of the selection committee. "Asjha has shown her abilities throughout the EuroLeague season, culminating in earning MVP honors at the Final Eight.

"Her abilities and leadership as a veteran of international basketball and over the last several years with our USA National Team program makes her a great choice for this final spot. Her experience pushed her forward in terms of selecting the final roster spot."

Jones and the Sun begin training camp next week and open the preseason May 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

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