SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Caitlin Clark’s early play in WNBA will function her tryout for a spot on the U.S. Olympic ladies’s basketball workforce.

The ladies’s roster for the Paris Video games received’t be decided earlier than June 1. Unable to attend the U.S. coaching camp this month, Clark can have the beginning of her WNBA profession to point out the U.S. ladies’s basketball choice committee whether or not she deserves a spot on the workforce.

Choice committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti mentioned she’ll be watching.

“You all the time need to introduce new gamers into the pool whether or not it’s for now or the long run,” Rizzotti instructed The Related Press. “We follow our rules of expertise, clearly, positional match, loyalty and expertise. It’s obtained to be a mix of a whole physique of labor. It’s nonetheless not going to be honest to some folks.”

Clark was invited to attend the U.S. coaching camp in Cleveland, but it surely was held through the Remaining 4 when she was nonetheless competing for a nationwide championship with Iowa. Attending the camp wasn’t obligatory to make the workforce, but it surely definitely would have helped the NCAA Division I all-time scoring chief present the choice committee she might maintain her personal in opposition to a number of the finest gamers on the planet. The camp in Cleveland was the final one the U.S. had earlier than saying its roster.

The workforce will get collectively in Phoenix for a couple of days in July proper earlier than the Olympics, together with enjoying an exhibition All-Star recreation in opposition to WNBA gamers.

The usmen’s basketball Olympic roster was introduced final week.

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The American ladies, who’re attempting for an eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal, have a gifted group of guards within the pool. The listing consists of five-time Olympian Diana Taurasi in addition to Chelsea Grey, Ariel Atkins and Jewell Loyd, who all performed on the Tokyo Video games workforce in 2021. Kelsey Plum, who owns an Olympic gold medal in 3&instances;3, and Sabrina Ionescu are additionally within the pool.

“Fascinated about Diana and Chelsea Grey and when their careers are accomplished, you need to be sure to’re able with these upcoming guards with Sabrina, Kelsey and Caitlin that you simply really feel good that our future is about,” Rizzotti mentioned throughout 3&instances;3 coaching camp final weekend.

Rizzotti will get a first-hand have a look at Clark when the No. 1 decide within the draft opens her WNBA profession on the Connecticut Solar on Could 14. Rizzotti is the president of the Solar.

If Clark makes the workforce, she wouldn’t be the primary WNBA rookie to be on an Olympic squad. Breanna Stewart was the final one to do it, making the workforce in 2016. The distinction was that Stewart had been a part of the nationwide workforce since she was a sophomore in school, enjoying on the 2014 World Cup squad.

Whereas Clark has no senior nationwide workforce expertise, she has performed on junior USA groups. She received gold medals on the 2019 and 2021 FIBA U19 World Cups and the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship.

There have been stories Clark doubtlessly might’ve been a part of the three&instances;3 workforce. however Clark has mentioned her focus is enjoying on the 5-on-5 workforce.

“It’s the place I need to be,” Clark instructed the AP final week. “Three-on-three is admittedly cool, I’ve simply by no means accomplished it. However 5-on-5 is the aim and the dream. To play with the most effective on the planet and in opposition to the most effective on the planet, you’ll be able to’t script it higher than that.”