The WNBA features talent from all over the world as international competition begins to catch up to the U.S. While fans stateside are obviously rooting for Team USA, almost all of the 12 women’s basketball teams in Tokyo have WNBA talent on their rosters.
Here’s who to keep an eye out for, how the format works this year and when to tune in for games.
Olympic basketball format
There will be three groups of four teams in the new Olympic format, a move away from the two groups of six used in the past. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. They’re joined by the two best third-place teams.
Pool A: Canada, Serbia, South Korea, Spain
Pool B: France, Japan, Nigeria, USA
Pool C: Australia, Belgium, China, Puerto Rico
Olympic basketball schedule
The tournament begins on July 25 with the group games. The quarterfinals will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. ET and on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 12:40 a.m., 4:20 a.m. and 8 a.m. ET. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, Aug. 6 at 12:40 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET. The bronze medal game is set for Aug. 7 at 3 a.m. ET and the gold medal game for 10:30 p.m. ET. The full schedule can be found here with the already set preliminary games found below.
(All times ET.)
Sunday, July 25
Korea vs. Spain (Group A), 9 p.m.
Monday, July 26
Serbia vs. Canada (A), 4:20 a.m.
Japan vs. France (B), 9 p.m.
Tuesday, July 27
Nigeria vs. USA (B), 12:40 a.m. (USA Network)
Australia vs. Belgium (C), 4:20 a.m.
Puerto Rico vs China (C), 8 a.m.
Wednesday, July 28
Canada vs. Korea, 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 29
Spain vs. Serbia (A), 4:20 a.m.
Belgium vs. Puerto Rico (C), 9 p.m.
Friday, July 30
USA vs. Japan (B), 12:40 a.m. (USA Network)
France vs. Nigeria (B), 4:20 a.m.
China vs. Australia (C), 8 a.m.
Saturday, July 31
Canada vs. Spain (A), 9 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 2
France vs. USA (B), 12:40 a.m. (USA Network)
China vs. Belgium (C), 4:20 a.m.
Australia vs. Puerto Rico (C), 8 a.m.
Who are the WNBA players competing in the Olympics?
The roster is headlined by none other than five-time Olympians Sue Bird, the WNBA’s all-time assists leader, and Diana Taurasi, the league’s all-time scorer. The USA is the overwhelming favorite to win the gold medal for a seventh consecutive tournament. That mark would set a record, and give Bird and Taurasi a record five gold medals in basketball. BetMGM lists the team at -1000 to win it all.
Sue Bird (Storm/UConn)
Diana Taurasi (Mercury/UConn)
Tina Charles (Mystics/UConn)
Breanna Stewart (Storm/UConn)
Napheesa Collier (Lynx/UConn)
Ariel Atkins (Mystics/Texas)
Skylar Diggins-Smith (Mercury/Notre Dame)
Sylvia Fowles (Lynx/Louisiana State)
Chelsea Gray (Aces/Duke)
Brittney Griner (Mercury/Baylor)
Jewell Loyd (Storm/Notre Dame)
A’ja Wilson (Aces/South Carolina)
Coaches: Dawn Staley (South Carolina), Dan Hughes (Storm, retired this season), Cheryl Reeve (Lynx), Jennifer Rizzotti (Sun president)
Team USA 3×3 squad
The popular 3×3 competition is…
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