The USA Basketball Women's National Team is still considering Caitlin Clark for a spot on the Paris Olympics squad, says selection committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti. 

On Monday, Rizzotti told the AP that the committee will be evaluating the college phenom’s Olympic prospects by keeping a close eye on her first few weeks of WNBA play with Indiana.

The move is somewhat unconventional. While Clark was invited to participate in the 14-player national team training camp held earlier this month — the last camp before Team USA’s roster drops — she was unable to attend due to it coinciding with Iowa’s trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

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Judging by the immense talent spread throughout the league in what might be their most hyped season to date, competition for a piece of the Olympic pie could be fiercer than ever before.

"You always want to introduce new players into the pool whether it's for now or the future," said Rizzotti. "We stick to our principles of talent, obviously, positional fit, loyalty and experience. It's got to be a combination of an entire body of work. It's still not going to be fair to some people."

Of course, Clark isn’t the first rookie the committee has made exceptions for. Coming off an exceptional college season that saw her averaging 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for UConn, Breanna Stewart was tapped to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil less than two weeks after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm. Eight years prior, fellow No. 1 pick Candace Parker punched her ticket to the 2008 Games in Beijing just two weeks after making her first appearance for the L.A. Sparks.

In the lead-up to Paris’ Opening Ceremony on July 26th, USA Basketball Women’s National Team is scheduled to play a pair of exhibition games. They'll first go up against the WNBA's finest at the July 20th WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix before facing Germany in London on July 23rd.

While an official roster announcement date hasn’t yet been issued, players won’t find out if they’ve made this year’s Olympic cut until at least June 1st.

One of the best players in the WNBA has high praise for New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu.

Phoenix Mercury veteran Diana Taurasi, called Ionescu “the ultimate competitor” while speaking with reporters at USA Basketball’s fall training camp. Both Taurasi, 41, and Ionescu, 25, are participating in the camp and exhibition games this month as the team prepares for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“There’s not many players that I love to watch. Sabrina is one of them,” Taurasi said. “I just love her competitiveness. I love her dedication. I love the way she takes the game serious on and of the court.”

Ionescu keeps “the main thing, the main thing” — as in, basketball is front and center, Taurasi said. While Ionescu’s high profile — from her signature shoe to other big sponsorship deals — could be distracting, the New York Liberty guard doesn’t allow that to derail her.

“It’s one thing that I really appreciate about her,” Taurasi said of Ionescu, who helped lead the Liberty to the WNBA Finals in 2023.

Taurasi also recounted a story from 2019, when Team USA “got lit up” by Oregon in an exhibition game back when Ionescu still played for the Ducks.

“How she played against Tennessee is why she’s gonna be on this team for a long, long time,” she said. “She’s the ultimate competitor and the ultimate teammate, always looking to distribute, always looking to make the next connection.

“And I think that’s the beauty of her game and any day she can give you 30, but the way she sees the game and how quickly she makes decisions, it’s second to none.”

Ionescu responded to Taurasi’s comments. “My idol,” she wrote in reference to Taurasi.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 basketball team won gold at the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, and the celebrations included spraying head coach Jennifer Rizzotti with champagne.

LSU star transfer Hailey Van Lith was the one to deliver the shower, following it up by grabbing a second bottle of champagne. Rizzotti, who’s also the president of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, ended the celebration soaked and in need of a new shirt.

Rizzotti later responded to the video on Twitter, noting that it was “worth every drop, even in my eyes.”

“But you know what they say about payback @haileyvanlith so watch your back,” she continued.

The gold medal was the U.S. women’s third in the 3×3 World Cup and first since 2014. Stanford forward Cameron Brink was named MVP of the tournament after the U.S. defeated France 16-12 in the final.

Rizzotti led a team made up of the two NCAA stars alongside 3×3 veterans Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper.

Carol Callan, director of the U.S. women’s national basketball team, will be stepping down after the Tokyo Olympics. 

Callan, who has held the role since 1995, will continue her four-year term as president of FIBA Americas after being elected to the position in 2019. 

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee spoke with ESPN on Monday, saying that she has been thinking about stepping away for awhile, and probably would have done so last year if the Olympics had gone on as planned. 

“When you love something, it’s a little hard to think, ‘When do you draw that line?’ ” Callan told ESPN. “But I have the opportunity to delve into FIBA Americas position, plus still be on call as a consultant to help whoever the next person is. And also to continue to work on things I really enjoy, including 3 on 3 and other developmental things in the sport.”

With the next major competition for the U.S. senior women being the FIBA Women’s World Cup in 2022, USA Basketball will begin the search for her successor after the Olympics.