Candace Parker and Angel McCoughtry each declined an invitation from USA Basketball to participate in training camp for the Women’s National Team, their agent said.
The names of the 30 athletes who will attend camp later this month were released yesterday. Perhaps most notably, two-time WNBA MVP Parker and McCoughtry, who helped the USA win gold in the last two Olympic Games, were not on the list. Boris Lelchitski, CEO of the Sports International Group that represents both players, said each turned down the invitation, for a different reason.
Parker attended all USA Basketball training camps leading up to the 2016 Olympic team selection, but was inexplicably omitted from the final roster, despite being featured in a promotional ad. Lelchitski said Parker’s decision not to attend camp this fall was because of that experience.
“Hell yeah she turned it down,” Lelchitski said.
McCoughtry will participate in a tournament in Russia for Dynamo Kursk, a franchise for whom she’s been playing for years, close to the time of the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 camp in Santa Barbara, California.
“Angel signed her contract with them long before USA Basketball announced their training camp dates,” Lelchitski said.
McCoughtry has not ruled out participation in future Women’s National Team camps, according to Lelchitski.
The training camp roster includes 25 WNBA players and five collegiate athletes. The WNBA Finals run from Sept. 24-Oct. 4, so those whose teams advance to the Finals won’t attend the session.
Attendees whose teams are still in the playoffs include Connecticut’s Courtney Williams and Morgan Tuck; Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, Jantel Lavender, Chelsea Gray, Odyssey Sims and Sydney Wiese; Minnesota’s Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles; New York’s Tina Charles and Kiah Stokes; Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner; and Washington’s Elena Delle Donne.
South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley, named the Women’s National Team coach six months ago, is preparing the USA for the 2018 World Cup next September, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.