USA Basketball outlines exhibition schedule; adds Jasmine Thomas to player pool
USA Basketball announced Wednesday the schedule for the women’s national team training camp prior to the 2018 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The training camp will start Sept. 3 in Columbia, South Carolina. The U.S. will have an intrasquad exhibition Sept. 5 in Columbia before hitting the road for a pair of international friendlies:
“I’m extremely excited about our schedule,” national team coach Dawn Staley said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for our country to see our national team compete on American soil. The more people who get a chance to see quality play from our national team will bring more excitement to women’s basketball in general. ”
The 2018 World Cup tips off Sept. 22 in Tenerife, Canary Islands. The U.S. was drawn into Group D against Latvia, Senegal and China.
Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas will have an opportunity to play her way to the World Cup after USA Basketball added her to the roster pool.
The move is somewhat surprising if only because Thomas has struggled this season after making her first WNBA All-Star team in 2017. Through 23 games, Thomas is averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 assists while shooting 29.5 percent from three-point range.
According to WNBA.com, her net rating has also fallen from 8.6 in 2017 to minus-0.1.
Going off the team that beat China 83-46 in Seattle on April 26, breaking into the final 12-player roster won’t be easy for Thomas. Sue Bird, Tiffany Hayes, Kelsey Mitchell, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd, Diana Taurasi and Layshia Clarendon all represented the U.S in that game. Chelsea Gray is part of the roster pool, too, but didn’t feature in that exhibition.
Thomas still has the rest of the WNBA season to try and move up the national team pecking order.