More national exposure for Team USA
ESPN networks will broadcast the USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s upcoming two exhibition games against No. 1 UConn and No. 7 Louisville, it was announced Tuesday. USA will square off against the Huskies on Monday, January 27 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and the Cardinals on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
“ESPN is thrilled to once again showcase our USA Basketball Women’s National Team as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in pursuit of a seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal,” said Carol Stiff, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions, in a release.
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Eric Frede, Rebecca Lobo — who won a gold medal with Team USA at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics — and Holly Rowe will call the game between USA and the top-ranked Huskies, while Beth Mowins and Debby Antonelli will handle the matchup against the Cardinals. It will mark USA Basketball’s third all-time game against Connecticut and first ever against Louisville.
“We’re excited to collaborate with ESPN and have the opportunity to showcase the USA Basketball Women’s National Team to ESPN’s national audience,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO, in the aforementioned release. “The USA National Team’s expanded training program is designed to help prepare our team for Tokyo in its quest for another gold medal and to promote and inspire women’s basketball around the country, and we’re appreciative of ESPN’s collaboration to help us accomplish those goals.”
These two games comprise the National Team’s winter tour in the United States, as it will travel to Serbia after the Louisville contest for three games in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament spanning February 6-9.
USA previously made several stops across its home country to face off against top women’s college basketball programs in its November Fall Tour. The stretch of elite matchups was highlighted by USA’s improbable setback to Oregon, a team ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll. Prior to the upset, the National Team had defeated Stanford by 15 in Palo Alto, Oregon State by 23 in Corvallis and Texas A&M by 30 in College Station.
Team USA’s roster is highlighted by four-time gold medal winners Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, along with young talent such as Napheesa Collier and A’ja Wilson — the WNBA’s last two Rookie of the Year Award winners. The National Team will aim to capture its seventh-consecutive gold medal at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
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