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USA Basketball cites inexperience for Caitlin Clark omission from Olympics - ESPN

USA Basketball said experience was a major reason Caitlin Clark was not on the U.S. women's Olympic roster that was officially revealed Tuesday.

The selection committee didn't believe the talented Clark had enough high-level reps to be a member of the group headed to the Paris Games. The team includes seven players from the group that won gold in Tokyo — the seventh straight for the Americans.

Selection committee chair Jen Rizzotti said the committee was aware of the outside noise and pressure to select Clark, the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft who has drawn millions of new fans to the sport from her record-setting career in college at Iowa to now with the Indiana Fever.

«Here's the basketball criteria that we were given as a committee and how do we evaluate our players based on that?» Rizzotti told The Associated Press in an interview. «And when you base your decision on criteria, there were other players that were harder to cut because they checked a lot more boxes. Then sometimes it comes down to position, style of play for [coach Cheryl Reeve] and then sometimes a vote.»

Diana Taurasi is back for a record sixth time. Her Olympic career started when she was a WNBA rookie in the 2004 Athens Games, and now the 42-year-old will be on the team again. Other returners from the Tokyo Olympics are Breanna Stewart, A'ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd and Brittney Griner.

Besides the returners, the Americans also added 5-on-5 newcomers Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, who helped the U.S. win the inaugural 3x3 gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021. Several first-time Olympians will join the team: Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu and Kahleah Copper. All three played on the American team that won the World Cup in