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Sun’s Jasmine Thomas added to USA Basketball women’s national team pool

Guard Jasmine Thomas is the fifth Sun player in the USA Basketball women’s national pool.

UNCASVILLE, July 18 — Connecticut Sun forward Jasmine Thomas has been added to the 2017-20 USA Basketball women’s national team pool, it was announced today. She is the fifth Sun player in the pool of players from which USA Basketball selects their national teams.

There are 34 players in the pool, from which the 2018 USA World Cup team is expected to be selected this September in Spain. The 2017-20 USA National team pool is selected by the USA Basketball women’s national team player selection committee.

The first-ever World Cup in Spain on September 22-30 is one of the reasons that this year’s WNBA season is more compact than in previous years. The WNBA didn’t want to reduce the number of regular season games (34) but they had two fewer weeks than a year ago. Held every four years, the World Cup was previously known as the world championships.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play for the national team,” Thomas said. “It’s an honor to be included in such a competitive pool to compete against the best for a spot to represent my country.”

Thomas was previously a member of the 2010 USA Select team that trained with the 2010 USA National team and the 2007 USA U19 World Cup team that claimed a gold medal with a perfect 9-0 record. She joins Sun teammates Chiney Ogwumike, Layshia Clarendon, Morgan Tuck and Courtney Williams in the USA Basketball pool.

“I’m really excited for Jasmine to be in the USA Basketball pool,” said Curt Miller, Connecticut’s head coach and general manager. “She has really raised her level of play over the last few years and has earned this opportunity to represent the country.”

Now in her fourth year with Connecticut, Thomas, a 5-foot-9 guard is averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 assists a game with the Sun. A year ago, she was a WNBA All-Star for the first time, averaging a career-high 14.2 points with 4.3 assists a game and a career-best 54 three-point field goals.

Continuing its preparations for the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball and future USA Basketball women’s national team events, available members of the USA pool will participate in training camp beginning on September 3 at the University of South Carolina.

Games during the time includes a Red-White intrasquad exhibition on September 5 as well as against Canada at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on September 8 and against Japan at the Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University in Washington D.C. on September 10.

The 2017-20 USA national team roster will be fluid. Members of the USA Basketball women’s national team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup (Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain) and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9 in Tokyo), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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