USA Basketball as a whole has not had the smoothest run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. The men’s and women’s national teams both lost their first two exhibition games, while the men have needed to add two replacement players and most recently had to leave Zach LaVine in Las Vegas as he entered health and safety protocols (but hope he’ll join them later).
On the 3×3 side, the men’s team failed to qualify for Tokyo in a stunner, and on Monday, the women’s team got some awful news as Katie Lou Samuelson announced she had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be able to play in the Olympics.
It is devastating for Samuelson, who notes going to the Olympics has long been a dream of hers, and she tested positive despite having been vaccinated, which doesn’t fully prevent a person from contracting the virus but limits the severity of cases and further spread. As for the team, it’s a big blow to lose the forward currently playing for the Storm, and they will replace Samuelson with Jackie Young from the Aces.
Welcome to the 2020 U.S. Olympic 3×3 Women's Basketball Team, @JackieYoung3! 🇺🇸
— USA Basketball 3×3 (@usab3x3) July 19, 2021
Replacing Samuelson with Young takes away some size from the USA 3×3 team, but gives them another on-ball scoring threat. Young joins her Aces teammate, Kelsey Plum, as well as Allisha Gray and Stefanie Dolson on the four-woman roster, meaning they will have to quickly work Young in without the luxury of a deep roster like on the 5-on-5 squads.