The US women national team is all geared up for an exhibition game against China. Both the teams are preparing hard for the Olympics in London which hardly two and a half months from now. The exhibition game with China is part of the three day mini champ hosted at Seattle to bring the U.S. team together for the first time. The team also holds the record of 25-1 against China at the 2011 Asia champion in the FIBA tournament.
Sue Bird feels honoured as she will be playing in the Olympics for the third time. She has also stated that she is excited and fortunate to have another opportunity to play in the Olympics.
She will lead the USA Olympic basketball team against China’s National Team at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington on May 12.
Bird mentioned that each Olympics has given her a unique experience and this one will be different from the last, and different from the one before that.
Playing the point guard position, Bird will be joined by other fantastic players and a former University of Connecticut Alumni Swin Cash from Chicago Sky, Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, Connecticut Sun’s Tina Charles and Asjha Jones, Minnesota Lynx’s Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles of Chicago Sky and Atlanta Dreams Angel McCoughtry making up the rest of the team.
However, one interesting event that has been circling around the news is the fact that Bird will be going up against her Seattle Storm teammate and close friend Lauren Jackson as she will play for the Australian team to represent her country at the 2012 London Olympics.
She said that in basketball, there’s always a point where everyone gets to play with different teams and at some point, you get to play against your friend–which is something that everyone has to deal with.
According to Bird, it won’t make a great impact on her to play against her friend as they play different positions. She said she feels so lucky it’s not the case of playing one on one with her close friend for the whole game. She also expressed her great relief that she is not a post player, because it will feel awkward and weird if they have to guard each other during the game.
Bird will have to wait to see if she will be facing off with her friend and teammate as this has happened before.
Meanwhile, Jackson will spend the first half of the season with her national team and through the Olympics. After that, she will join the Seattle Storm for the second half of the season.
Being one of the older players now, Bird expects to see some differences with the USA team this year in London. She has mentioned that during her previous Olympic experiences there were some leadership from the older players like Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson who did a lot of talking even from a basketball standpoint.
She admits that each Olympic experience has made her better and says she will definitely be more vocal as she has to be a leader by the nature of her position. The United States National Team will continue preparations for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London over the next few months. They will be playing exhibition games in Washington D.C. on July 16th and in Manchester, England in July 18th. In addition to this they will also be taking part in a four team tourney in Istanbul from 21st to 24th of July.
Final preparations and the trip across the pond will be done after the players work around their USA and WNBA commitments. Being the winner of the last four Olympics the U.S. team is heavily favoured in the London Olympics.