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Caitlin Clark left off Team USA roster for Paris Olympics


By Kevin Dotson, CNN

(CNN) — USA Basketball’s roster for the women’s Olympic basketball team that will chase gold in Paris this summer will not include WNBA rookie sensation Caitlin Clark, according to CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan.

Brennan wrote in USA Today, citing three unnamed sources, that Clark’s omission from the team was due in part to “concern over how Clark’s millions of fans would react to what would likely be limited playing time on a stacked roster.”

CNN has reached out to USA Basketball for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Speaking to reporters at a practice on Sunday, Clark said she wasn’t disappointed with the decision, adding, “I think it gives you something to work for, you know, it’s a dream.”

“Hopefully one day I can be there and I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that and, you know, hopefully in four years, when four years comes back around … I can be there,” she said.

The 22-year-old, who is coming off a 30-point performance, including seven three-pointers, in the Indiana Fever’s victory over the Washington Mystics Friday, said she was excited for the players on the team and will be “rooting them on to win gold.”

“I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics, so yeah, it’ll be fun to watch them,” Clark said.

The roster is expected to include WNBA stars and past Olympic champions Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart and nine others.

Last year, Griner said she would “never go overseas again” to play basketball – unless it’s for the Olympics – after being detained in Russia.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist spent nearly 300 days in Russian custody following her detention in February 2022 and was sentenced to nine years in prison under drug-smuggling charges after authorities in the country found cannabis oil in her luggage.

She was released in December last year in a prisoner exchange with Russia.

The US women’s team will play an exhibition game against Germany in London on July 23 before their first game of the 2024 Paris Olympics on July 29. The team will face Japan, Belgium and Germany in the group stage.

The USA women’s 3×3 team features some of America’s younger talent. WNBA rookie Cameron Brink as well as college player Hailey Van Lith were selected to the team to join WNBA veteran Rhyne Howard and Cierra Burdick, who currently plays professionally in Spain and previously played in the WNBA. 3×3 basketball is being contested in just its second Olympic games, with the US winning the inaugural women’s gold medal in Tokyo in 2021.

The USA women’s national team, consistently loaded with a surplus of talent, has won gold at seven straight Olympic Games dating back to 1996.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Jill Martin, Homero DeLaFuente and Jacob Lev contributed to this report.

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