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    Thursday, June 20, 2024

    Sun’s Alyssa Thomas to attend USA Basketball Women’s National Team camp

    In this Sept. 29, 2023, file photo, Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) goes up to the basket as New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart (30) defends during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA semifinal playoff series at Mohegan Sun Arena. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
    Connecticut Sun's Alyssa Thomas dribbles during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Connecticut Sun All-Star forward Alyssa Thomas is one of 18 players who will attend training camp for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team from Feb. 2-4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    Following training camp, 12 players will be selected to represent the U.S. at the 2024 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Feb. 8-11 in Antwerp, Belgium.

    “With less than 200 days until the 2024 Olympic Summer Games, we are excited to bring together a group of athletes who aspire to represent the United States not only in Antwerp, but ultimately Paris,” Jennifer Rizzotti, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee chair, said in a press release.

    “Not only will the training camp be tremendously valuable but the qualifying tournament in Belgium will offer a meaningful opportunity to compete against world-class talent as we get one step closer to selecting the 2024 USA Women’s National Team.”

    Eleven former Olympians will participate in the training camp, including five-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi and fellow UConn grads Napheesa Collier and Breanna Stewart.

    Also attending camp are Ariel Atkins, Allisha Gray, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young, Kahleah Copper, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, Aliyah Boston, Rhyne Howard and Arike Ogunbowale.

    Head coach of the national team is Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx. She will be assisted by Mike Thibault, former Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics coach and now GM of the Mystics, and former Sun coach Curt Miller, now with the Los Angeles Sparks.

    The U.S. already qualified for the Paris Olympics with its gold medal finish at the 2022 World Cup in Sydney, Australia.

    During the 2023 season, Thomas averaged 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.8 steals and .5 blocks per game for the Sun, finishing second in the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player voting behind Stewart of the New York Liberty.

    Thomas finished with seven triple-doubles, adding to her WNBA record-setting total of 11. She was an All-Star for the fourth time and a member of the All-WNBA first team as well as the All-Defensive first team.

    “AT is one of one,” Sun coach Stephanie White said following the Sun’s loss to New York in the semifinals of the 2023 WNBA playoffs. “Like, I’ve been around a lot of great players, but what she’s able to do on a nightly basis ...

    “There are great scorers, there are great rebounders, there are great facilitators and they all play a position. She does all that from a post position. She really is incredible. She had a year for the record books. She really is one of one.”

    A first-round draft pick by the Sun in 2014, Thomas, a Maryland graduate, moved into first all-time in Connecticut Sun history in games played, assists, rebounds and free throws last season and set the single-game assist record with 16 on June 1 against Minnesota.

    Thomas was the first WNBA player to record 600 or more points, 300 rebounds and 300 assists in a single season.

    She was a member of USA Basketball’s gold medal-winning team at the 2022 Women’s World Cup, being named Best Defensive Player of the tournament, helping the Americans hold opponents to 58.0 points per game and 35.1% shooting.

    The Sun open the season May 14 at home against the Indiana Fever.


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