Angel McCoughtry’s USA Basketball comeback has ended.
The two-time Olympian isn’t part of the group the U.S. is taking to Australia to prepare for the World Cup that begins later this month in Sydney. The Americans still have 18 players on their roster, including six who are playing in the WNBA Finals that begin Sunday. The final 12-player roster for the World Cup is due 48 hours before the start of play.
Heading to Australia on Monday are Ariel Atkins, Shakira Austin, Aliyah Boston, Diamond DeShields, Stefanie Dolson, Rhyne Howard, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney and NaLyssa Smith. All spent the week training in Las Vegas. Not making the trip are Natasha Howard, Aerial Powers, Kayla McBride, Katie Lou Samuelson and McCoughtry.
Kahleah Copper, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart will join the group in Australia after losing in the WNBA playoff semifinals.
”We want to be a team that plays with some really good pace,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said. ”I think every coach will sit here and tell you that. It’s one of the most annoying things coaches do, but I think making sure that our players understand what that means. It’s not a sometime sort of thing.”
If the WNBA Finals goes to five games, that could mean the U.S. would be missing key players like A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum for its opening-round game against Belgium on Sept. 22.
McCoughtry, who played on the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams, was trying to come back from a torn right ACL injury she suffered in 2021 when she played for the Las Vegas Aces. She played briefly with the Minnesota Lynx before they bought out her contract. She had seven points and three steals in a red-white scrimmage on Friday night.
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