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Caitlin Clark Snubbed, Left Off Olympics Women's Basketball Roster: Report

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Is Indiana Fever superstar rookie Caitlin Clark one of the 12 best women’s basketball players in the U.S.A.?

That question is at the heart of a controversy that has erupted after multiple reports outed the 2024 United States women’s national basketball team roster — and it didn’t include the stellar Clark.

As both NBC News and The Athletic have reported, the U.S. women’s Olympic roster will feature the following stars:

  • Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson
  • New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart
  • New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu
  • Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum
  • Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner
  • Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd
  • Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi
  • Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray
  • Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier
  • Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas
  • Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young
  • Phoenix Mercury guard Kahleah Copper

As The Athletic noted, that roster is widely expected to win the gold medal at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

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That winning tradition dates back some time, as the U.S. women have won gold at every Olympics since 1996.

A few observations of the women’s roster:

Should Caitlin Clark be chosen for Team USA?

The Las Vegas Aces on-court dominance is reflected in this roster: The Aces have won back-to-back WNBA championships (Wilson and Gray both won Finals MVP awards), and are very much in the mix of things for a three-peat this year.

It should come as little surprise that Wilson (a two-time league MVP), Gray, Plum and Young all made the roster.

The roster favors experience: There are no rookies on this roster. If anything, it skews a tad older, with veteran players up and down the roster.

Apart from Wilson, Stewart is also a two-time league MVP, adding even more legitimacy to the roster.

Where does Clark fit in? This is the million-dollar question that has fans up in arms.

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Given the positional needs of a basketball team, Clark had ample opportunity to crack the roster with the U.S. women opting to go with six guards on a 12-person roster.

It’s hard to justify putting Clark (whose Fever sport a paltry 3-9 record, good for second-worst in the league) over any of the Aces or Liberty (9-2, second best in the WNBA) guards. That puts Ionescu, Plum, Gray and Young on the roster. That’s already four out of six guard spots gobbled up.

That just leaves two of the older guards on the roster: The 30-year-old Loyd and 41-year-old Taurasi.

Looking at the numbers, Clark certainly has a case to be made against both.

Loyd is a gunner, and her three-point shooting prowess will be critical when teams collapse the paint against the U.S. women’s frontcourt. Her career three-point shooting percentage is a rock-solid 35.8 percent.

And yet, Clark is shooting the exact same three-point percentage as Loyd this year, and on far higher volume. Clark and Loyd are both shooting 32.7 percent from behind the arc, but Loyd is taking fewer than five three’s per game, while Clark is shooting nearly nine.

In a head-to-head comparison with Taurasi, the case to snub Clark is a little murkier. By virtually every metric, Clark has outplayed the WNBA veteran this year.

Now, yes, basketball does involve things that don’t show in a stat sheet, like defense, and one can certainly argue that Clark’s thin frame makes her a defensive liability.

(It also can’t be understated that Taurasi has been a vocal critic of Clark’s, and team chemistry may have played a role in roster assembly.)

Whatever the pros and cons of Clark being on the squad may be, one undeniable con is that Clark won’t be bringing her high-wattage star power to the team.

It does need to be noted that these rosters have not been officially announced yet.

Swaths of Clark fans are speaking out — just look at the comments to that ESPN post — and letting it be known that they are not thrilled with the decision to leave her off the U.S. women’s team.

Will it be enough to change the minds of the decision-makers?


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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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