In case you didn’t see the news when released Wednesday, the ESPN networks are going to be sure the USA Basketball women’s exhibition games are aired on television. Lack of national coverage irked plenty when the team played an exhibition against China on May 12 at KeyArena.
The Americans, including Storm All-Star Sue Bird, travel to Washington, D.C. for an exhibition against Brazil before heading to Europe. ESPN2 will carry the July 16 matchup which airs at UPDATE: 2:30 pm locally. The women will be on television again, from Manchester England on July 18.
Unlike other countries, the quick friendlies and approximate two-week training prior to the London Olympics is all the women’s USA basketball team will have before competing for an unprecedented fifth consecutive gold medal. Even the men are together and training now.
Bird is trying not to be concerned with gelling with her Olympic team, however. Her Storm (8-10) has one game on the road against Phoenix (4-14) prior to switching hats to focus on USA basketball. This is her third Olympic Games, first as the full-on leader of the team.
“I’m very excited,” said Bird, who packed to be gone for a month, traveling through three countries. “We have a really good group, very talented…We had fun in Czech Republic for the World Championships a couple of years ago and when we were here (Seattle) in May, we had a great time. I know it’s going to be the same when we get to London, so I’m excited.”
While Bird goes globetrotting, her teammates will get a league-mandated seven day vacation. Storm coach Brian Agler said he’ll stagger when the players are gone, conducting individual workouts with those that are in Seattle. The players will also make public appearances for the organization.
Agler is headed to Chicago to catch his daughter Taylor, a guard who committed to Indiana, play AAU hoops. Her All-Ohio team lost 64-61 to the Miami Suns for the 11th Grade Girls Gold Super Showcase title on Wednesday.
The Storm will resume team practice on Aug. 1 and the Storm’s first game after the break is Aug. 16 against Phoenix at KeyArena.
Below is a clip of Aglers talking hoops by Full Court: