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Caitlin Clark thrilled by US national team training camp invite. If Iowa isn’t in the Final Four

Caitlin Clark is thrilled to be invited to participate in USA Basketball training camp at the Final Four.

Her focus, though, is purely on getting Iowa to Cleveland for a chance at a national championship.

“You always want to grow up and be on the Olympic team, but lucky for me, I have the opportunity of possibly not doing that because I want to be at the Final Four playing basketball with my team,” Clark said Friday. “But if not, that’s where I’ll be. People that are on that roster are people that I idolize and have idolized growing up. Just to be extended a camp invite is something you have to be proud of and celebrate and enjoy.”

Clark’s Hawkeyes play Colorado on Saturday in the Sweet 16. If they win they would play the victor of the LSU-UCLA game for a chance to go to the Final Four next Friday.

“My main focus is on this team and helping us find a way to beat Colorado and hopefully win another one after that,” she said.

The NCAA’s Division I all-time scoring leader has earned three gold medals with USA Basketball junior teams, most recently as a member of the 2021 under-19 squad.

Clark, the likely No. 1 draft pick in the WNBA Draft on April 15 by the Indiana Fever, has been a ratings boon for college basketball. Nearly 5 million people watched the Hawkeyes second-round game against West Virginia on Saturday.

Five-time Olympic champion Diana Taurasi is one of nine former Olympians who will participate in the camp training camp from April 3-5. The others are Ariel Atkins, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young.

Former WNBA Rookie of the Year winners Aliyah Boston and Rhyne Howard also will participate, along with Sabrina Ionescu and Shakira Austin.

The U.S. went 3-0 last month in a FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgium. The Americans beat the host nation 81-79 on a last-second shot by Stewart. They went on to beat Nigeria and Senegal.

The Americans have won the gold in every Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games. They will face Belgium again in pool play at the Olympics. The Americans also will play Japan in a rematch from the gold-medal game of the Tokyo Olympics, as well as Germany.

The U.S. is expected to name its roster later this spring.

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

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