Two players named to basketball pool

January 23, 2014
Jeff Brucculeri

Two members of the Tulsa Shock, Skylar Diggins and Glory Johnson, have been named to the 2014-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the United States qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected. Diggins and Johnson are just two of 33 players in the Women’s National Team pool of players.

The list of players on the National Team roster includes 14 Olympic and/or FIBA World Championship gold medalists and several players currently in the WNBA.

“I think the game has changed tremendously and we are fortunate that the pool is probably greater than it’s ever been,” said Geno Auriemma, 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “The gap between those that have won gold medals and those that are still playing for the USA Basketball National Team and those that want to be part of it who are younger and have made a name for themselves is narrowing every year.  I’m excited that we have so many great players to choose from.”

Johnson has previously played on two U.S. Junior National Teams, and she said she is thrilled to be moving up the ranks.

“After playing on the junior national teams I valued, as well as learned, the meaning and importance of having USA across my chest,” Johnson said. “I learned that being a part of the USA team means that I am not just representing my family, my college, my WNBA team, but I am representing my country. That is an honor that is hard to describe and sum into words. It is truly a blessing to have this opportunity for I know that not everyone will get this chance. Knowing that I have been working extremely hard to get better and become the best athlete that I can be, and to be able to showcase that and bring that to the USA team is a great accomplishment. To be able to help out in any way that I can would be a very great thing for me.”

According to a recent press release, Auriemma said the process of selecting a team is not so cut-and-dry.

“It’s always difficult when you’re trying to put together a team,” Auriemma said. “It doesn’t always come down to picking the 12 best players, putting them on the team and let’s go. I think there are other factors that go into it, and hopefully the committee and the coaches can come up with a team that is capable of winning gold medals and represents the U.S. in the best possible manner.”

He said you can’t just pick the best players and expect success.

“I wish it was as simple as picking the leading scorers and leading rebounders or just picking the most famous players in the WNBA and let’s go get ‘em!  But it’s a lot more complicated than that so it will be very difficult,” Auriemma said.

REVOLUTION FALLS TO DALLAS

It was not a good night for the Tulsa Revolution as the Dallas Sidekicks beat Tulsa 13-2 Saturday at the Cox Business Center.

After one quarter of play, you would have never thought the score would get out of hand, considering it was a well-played first quarter with Dallas leading 1-0. However, everything changed as the Sidekicks scored five goals in both the second and third quarters.

With Dallas (10-2) leading 11-0, Tulsa finally got on the score board just 37-seconds into the fourth quarter, on a goal by Franck Tayou. Just 23-seconds later, Levi Coleman scored on a bicycle kick, for Tulsa’s second goal of the game.

Before the end of the game, Dallas added a couple more goals, including the fifth goal of the game for Nestor Hernandez, setting a team record for number of goals in a single game.

Tulsa (1-10) will host the Wichita B-52′s (5-6) this Saturday, 6:00 p.m. at the Cox Business Center.
[Jeff Brucculeri is freelance writer and broadcaster. Follow him on Twitter @JeffBTravels. Contact; jeffb@tulsabeacon.com.]