The defending Olympic gold medalist United States women’s national basketball team is a heavy odds favorite to win the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics according to oddsmakers at online sports gambling leader Bodog (Bodoglife.com). The team has won four Olympic gold medals and seven FIBA world championships and did not lose an international match between 1994 and 1996. However, the team is not infallible losing to Russia in the semifinal of the 2006 world championship settling for the bronze medal.
The team, coached by Anne Donovan , has spent little time together and with eight days until opening ceremonies is focusing on team chemistry at their training site in Palo Alto, Calif., prior to departing for China.
“I think our in-depth chemistry, as a unit, how well we perform together as a unit is probably our biggest struggle,” said Donovan. “Our goal is to get better every day. We have 10 practices before we open on the ninth and then with every game from the ninth on, every practice from the ninth on, we’ll get better.”
The team’s final practice prior to departing for China was Thursday morning at Stanford University in Palo Alto. The team will see its first competition in an exhibitions against Latvia and Russia August 3-4.
The US team is made up of stars from WNBA and college teams.
USA Women’s Senior National Basketball team roster …No. 5 Seimone Augustus, Forward, Minnesota Lynx, No. 6 Sue Bird, Guard, Seattle Storm, No. 10 Tamika Catchings, Forward, Indiana Fever, No. 13 Sylvia Fowles, Center, Chicago Sky, No. 7 Kara Lawson, Guard, Sacramento Monarchs, No. 9 Lisa Leslie, Center, Los Angeles Sparks, No. 8 DeLisha Milton-Jones, Forward, Los Angeles Sparks, No. 15 Candace Parker Forward, Los Angeles Sparks, No 4 Cappie Poindexter, Guard, Rutgers, No.14 Katie Smith, Guard, Ohio State, No. 12 Diana Taurasi, Guard, UConn, No. 11 Tina Thompson, Forward, USC.
Czech Republic 40/1
South Korea 80/1
New Zealand 200/1