Four Lynx starters finalists for spot on Olympic team

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2012 - 2:28 AM

Coach Geno Auriemma thinks the idea of having four players from same pro team could be an advantage.

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Lynx forward Maya Moore (right) and guard Lindsay Whalen are both finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in women's basketball. Also under consideration from the Lynx is guard Seimone Augustus and forward Rebekkah Brunson.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

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Four Lynx starters are among the 21 finalists announced Monday for the U.S. women's basketball team which will play in the 2012 London Olympics.

One is guard Seimone Augustus, who played on the gold medal team in 2008 Beijing Olympics. Two others, guard Lindsay Whalen and forward Maya Moore, were members of the U.S. team which won 2010 FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic. Forward Rebekkah Brunson is the fourth Lynx still under Olympic team consideration. She last played on a U.S. team in the 2007 Americas Championships. The 12-player Olympic roster will be announced this spring.

Whalen, reached by e-mail, called playing in the World Championships a great experience and added, "For me to have a chance to do it again at the Olympics in London is very exciting."

Geno Auriemma, the women's basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and of the U.S. Olympic team, said the Lynx impressed him last year en route to the WNBA title. He said it's a bonus four possible Olympians play on the same pro team, given the U.S. team will practice only briefly in May and July.

Auriemma also said the Olympic and World Championships experience that Augustus, Whalen and Moore have benefits them. "Individually, they are three great players and great kids and have a lot going for them," he said.

Besides Augustus, eight other finalists have played in the Olympics as well. Three are two-time gold medalists: Seattle's Sue Bird, Phoenix's Diana Taurasi and Indiana's Tamika Catchings. Brittney Griner, a 6-8 junior for Baylor, is the lone college player among the finalists. Connecticut, like the Lynx, also has four finalists; no other WNBA team has more than two.

• Free agent Erin Thorn, a nine-year WNBA guard, signed with the Lynx. She averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 assists for Chicago, playing in every game last season and starting seven. She shot 39.5 percent on three-pointers.

United States women's team preliminary roster in Scoreboard, C9.

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