Reports: Caitlin Clark will be left off roster for US Olympic women’s basketball team

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 pick in this year’s WNBA draft and the NCAA’s all-time Division I scoring leader, is expected to be left off the Team USA women’s basketball roster for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, according to several published reports.

The Athletic, quoting an anonymous source “briefed on the decision,” said that Clark, 22, a rookie with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, will not be a member of the squad that will head to Paris in July.

The Washington Post, USA Today and NBC News, also quoting anonymous sources, said that Clark will not be a part of the veteran squad expected to compete for the gold medal. The U.S. women have won gold at every Olympics since 1996 and have not lost a game since 1992, USA Today reported.

The Team USA roster is expected to be led by five-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi and WNBA stars A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart, The Athletic reported. Other members expected to be selected are Napheesa Collier, Kahleah Copper, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Sabrina Ionescu, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Alyssa Thomas and Jackie Young, according to the sports outlet.

This roster is expected to be a favorite in Paris, the Post reported.

“We have not made any official announcement yet,” a Team USA spokesperson told NBC News.

Clark and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee could not be reached for comment on Saturday, according to USA Today.

Leaving Clark off the roster is not a total surprise, since the projected U.S. women’s team roster boasts the world’s strongest collection of basketball talent in the world, The Athletic reported.

Seven of the 12 players have Olympic five-on-five experience and two more have three-on-three experience, The Athletic reported. The only first-time Olympians on the squad are expected to be Thomas, Copper and Ionescu.

Taurasi, 41, will be competing in her sixth Olympics, according to the sports news outlet. That will break an all-time international record she held with five other players, men and women. Griner, her teammate on the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has competed in the Olympics two times.

Stewart, a two-time WNBA MVP, will be playing in her third Olympics, according to The Athletic. She was named the MVP in the Toyko Games in 2021.

In March, Clark was one of 14 players to receive an invitation to the U.S. national team’s final training camp before the Summer Games, The Athletic reported. She was unable to attend because she was still playing for the University of Iowa in the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The committee choosing the roster includes South Carolina coach and former Team USA coach Dawn Staley, three-time Olympian and LSU assistant Seimone Augustus, two-time Olympian and Old Dominion coach Delisha Milton-Jones, Connecticut Sun president Jennifer Rizzotti and WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin, the sports news outlet reported.

Team USA Basketball will face Japan in its Olympics opener on July 29, the Post reported. The gold medal game is scheduled for Aug. 11.

Clark connected on seven 3-pointers on Friday to tie a WNBA rookie record and scored 30 points, USA Today reported. She also had eight rebounds and six assists in the Fever’s 85-83 victory against the winless Washington Mystics (0-11). Indiana is 3-9.

The two teams played before 20,333 fans in Washington, D.C., the largest WNBA crowd in 17 years, according to USA Today. She was named the WNBA’s rookie of the month for May, NBC News reported.

Comments on this article