Katie Lou Samuelson to join Team USA in game against UConn

Samuelson will look to make her mark on Team USA’s Olympic roster while Diamond DeShields will aim to get healthy for the WNBA season

Team USA announced Tuesday that Chicago Sky forward Katie Lou Samuelson will join the National Team for its exhibition game against the University of Connecticut on January 27, as well as their matchup with the University of Louisville on February 2.

Samuelson, who led UConn to a Final Four finish in last year’s NCAA tournament, was a member of the Team USA squad that won gold at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup. She’ll join former UConn alumni Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi for the exhibition game in Storrs.

After the Sky drafted her with the fourth overall pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, Samuelson battled injuries and played limited minutes. An injury in October ended her overseas season with French club Flammes Carolo Basket Ardennes prematurely.

Samuelson will remain with the National Team when they compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia starting February 6. Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins and Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell will also join Samuelson in Team USA’s efforts to win its seventh-straight gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Sky guard Diamond DeShields, who returned to the United States after suffering an injury playing in Italy, and Taurasi will not participate in Team USA’s February qualifying games. Taurasi, however, is still set to play in both collegiate matches.

DeShields led the Sky in scoring last year and averaged 24 points, five rebounds and two assists in Chicago’s two playoff games last season. She also won gold alongside Samuelson in the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup and is primed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics if healthy.

Team USA’s first qualifying game in Belgrade is against Serbia, with matches against Mozambique on February 8 and Nigeria on February 9 after. All FIBA qualifying games will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

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