Report: A’ja Wilson And Breanna Stewart Headline A Loaded USA Olympic Roster That Does Not Include Caitlin Clark

The United States women’s basketball team will be playing for their eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Paris later this summer, and as is always the case for Team USA, arguably the most competitive part of the Olympic process is making the roster.

The potential pool of players for USA Basketball to choose from is loaded, and this year presented an additional challenge as they had to decide if they would leave off a veteran for Caitlin Clark, as the Indiana Fever rookie sensation has become the talk of women’s basketball. Ultimately, Team USA chose to stick with its veterans and leave Clark at home for the 2024 Olympics, and it’s hard to fault them given the roster chosen, per reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Chantel Jennings, Joe Vardon, Mark Puleo, and Ben Pickman, and Christine Brennan of USA Today.

The reported roster is loaded with All-Stars, MVP candidates, and some longtime Team USA stalwarts.

A’ja Wilson
Breanna Stewart
Diana Taurasi
Brittney Griner
Alyssa Thomas
Napheesa Collier
Jewell Loyd
Kelsey Plum
Jackie Young
Sabrina Ionescu
Chelsea Gray
Kahleah Copper

As Brennan confirmed, that means Clark, who has drawn an incredible number of eyeballs to the sport, has been left off, but if there was any thought USA Basketball was being run by NBC, this would rule that out.

The network would surely prefer Clark would be on the team given her ratings draw, but it’s also more than understandable why she wouldn’t make the roster off merit at the moment. You could certainly make a case for her, but leaving off any of those 12 veterans in favor of her would be a tough argument to make in basketball terms only.

Clark will surely be disappointed, and we’ll have to wait to see how USA Basketball handled this with her. They previously burned bridges with stars (namely Candace Parker) over their selection process and one would expect them to want Clark in the fold long-term. However, this also might be a welcome break for Clark, who will get a few weeks off for the first time in nearly a full calendar year. By the time the Olympics roll around, she would’ve been on her 10th straight month of playing high-level competitive basketball without any real break, as she went straight from the Final Four to the WNBA Draft and into training camp.

As for the rest of the roster, it’s a murderer’s row of the best of the best. Wilson, the reigning two-time MVP, is having the best season of her career. She’ll be joined by three of her Aces teammates, as Young continues to grow into being a star, Plum provides needed floor-spacing on a roster with so many star bigs, and Gray, who isn’t yet back from her foot injury suffered in the Finals, is expected to return to the floor at some point in the coming weeks. Stewart, Thomas, and Collier are putting up MVP caliber campaigns themselves in the frontcourt, while Copper and Ionescu are enjoying the most productive seasons of their careers so far. Griner and Taurasi provide some Olympic veteran leadership for this group, as longtime members of USA Basketball with multiple golds to their name.