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Why Caitlin Clark was REALLY snubbed for Team USA’s Olympic team as head of selection talks about controversial decision


USA Basketball revealed that experience was a key factor in why Caitlin Clark was not on the roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

After her popularity in the NCAA translated into eye-rolling in the WNBA following Clarke’s entry, many found it shameful that she was snubbed for the upcoming games in France.

In an interview with the Associated Press, selection committee chairwoman Jen Rizzotti acknowledged the noise and pressure to select Clark for the Stars and Stripes.

«Here’s the basketball criteria we’ve been given as a commission, and how do we evaluate our players based on that?» Rizzotti said.

“And if you base your decision on the criteria, there were other players who were harder to take out because they ticked a lot more boxes. Then sometimes it comes down to position, style of play (coach Cheryl Reeve) and then sometimes voting.»

The US selection committee revealed why it left Caitlin Clark off the Olympic team

Jen Rizzotti shared that experience was a key factor that the No. 1 lacked over the others

Jen Rizzotti shared that experience was a key factor that the No. 1 lacked over the others

Returning players include reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd and Brittney Griner.

Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi is preparing for a record sixth Olympic appearance for the USA. Taurasi made her Olympic debut during her rookie year (2004) at the Athens Games and will return at age 42 to help the nation try for an eighth straight gold medal.

In addition to the returners, the committee added Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young to the 5-on-5 team, who helped the U.S. win gold in the inaugural 3×3 competition in Tokyo. Additionally, first-time Olympians Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu and Kahleah Copper played for the US team that won the 2022 World Championships in Australia.

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«It’s a great mix of talent across all areas in terms of individual skill,» USA Basketball general manager Jim Tooley said. “We have veterans, rookies and those in the middle. Good perspective and continuity is such an important thing, and that’s why we succeeded at the Olympics.»

Because of her popularity and the eyeballs she brought to the WNBA, many resented Clark's offense

Because of her popularity and the eyeballs she brought to the WNBA, many resented Clark’s offense

All 12 players selected to participate in Paris have senior national team experience

All 12 players selected to participate in Paris have senior national team experience

All 12 players have senior experience – a box Clark has yet to check. However, Tooley acknowledged that Clark could play an important role in the program in the future.

«He’s definitely going to continue to get better and better,» Tooley said. «I really hope he’s a big part of our future.»

The selection committee’s criteria include playing ability, standing and adaptability to international play. While many argued that Clark’s notoriety would be beneficial, marketing and popularity have nothing to do with the selection process.

«It would be irresponsible of us to talk about her other than how she would affect the team’s game,» Rizzotti said.

WNBA stars Breanna Stewart and A'ja Wilson will lead the team in Paris this summer

WNBA stars Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson will lead the team in Paris this summer

Players like Kelsey Plum and Sabrina Ionescu will make their Olympic debuts

Players like Kelsey Plum and Sabrina Ionescu will make their Olympic debuts

Team USA is vying for its eighth straight Olympic gold medal

Team USA is vying for its eighth straight Olympic gold medal

“Because it wasn’t up to our committee to decide how many people were going to watch or how many people were going to cheer for the USA. Our job was to create the best team we could for Cheryl.”

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With all the talk surrounding what many described as a «controversial» decision, the number one said she would use the omission as an incentive to improve and make the 2028 Olympic team.

«I think it gives you something to work on,» Clark told reporters after Sunday’s practice. «It is a dream.» Hopefully I can be there one day. I think it’s just a little more motivation. You remember that. I hope I’ll be there when the four years come back.”



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