Home News Bay Area’s Ionescu makes first U.S. Olympic roster as Clark misses out

Bay Area’s Ionescu makes first U.S. Olympic roster as Clark misses out

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By DOUG FEINBERG | AP Basketball Writer

Caitlin Clark won’t be headed to the Paris Olympics but East Bay native Sabrina Ionescu will, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The person, who provided the full roster to The Associated Press, spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because no official announcement has been made.

The decision to leave Clark off the roster was first reported by The Athletic.

Clark does have some international experience with USA Basketball at a younger level, but she couldn’t attend the national training camp in Cleveland after she was invited because she was leading Iowa to the Final Four. Clark finished her career as the NCAA’s Division I all-time scoring leader.

Clark, now a rookie with the Indiana Fever, has drawn millions of new fans to women’s basketball in her college career and also in her young WNBA career.

While Clark won’t be headed to Paris, the U.S. is expected to take five-time gold medalist Diana Taurasi for a sixth Olympics. Taurasi will be joined by Phoenix Mercury teammate Brittney Griner.

This will be Griner’s first time playing internationally since she was detained in a Russian prison for 10 months in 2022. She said she’ll only play abroad with USA Basketball.

Joining the pair will be Olympic veterans Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd and Chelsea Gray. Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, who helped the U.S. win the inaugural 3×3 gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021, also will be on the team.

A bunch of first-time Olympians will join the team with Alyssa Thomas, Kahleah Copper and Ionescu, a star at Miramonte High in Orinda before going to college at Oregon. All three played on the American team that won the World Cup in Australia in 2022.

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