Baylor all-American Brittney Griner is among 21 finalists for the U.S. women's basketball team that will compete at the London Olympics.
The 6-foot-8 Griner is looking to become the first women's college basketball player to compete in the Olympics for the United States since 1988 when Vicky Bullett (Maryland) and Bridgette Gordon (Tennessee) played.
There are several Chicago connections among the finalists: former Stevenson High School star Tamika Catchings, former Naperville Central star Candace Parker, Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles and teammate Swin Cash, former Sky forward Canice Dupree, and former Chicago prep star Cappie Pondexter. Doug Bruno of DePaul is an assistant coach for Team USA.
The finalists also include other WNBA stars who helped the U.S. team win gold at the 2009 Beijin games: Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus and Kara Lawson, Catchings, Fowles, Parker and Pondexter also were on the gold-medal team.
The 12-person roster for the Olympics will be chosen this spring. Here are the players invited to compete for the 12-person U.S. team:
Jayne Appel: Center (6-4 210), San Antonio Silver Stars
Seimone Augustus: Forward (6-1 179), Minnesota Lynx
Sue Bird: Guard (5-9 150), Seattle Storm
Rebekkah Brunson: Forward (6-2 175), Minnesota Lynx
Swin Cash: Forward (6-1 162), Chicago Sky
Tamika Catchings: Forward (6-0 166), Indiana Fever
Tina Charles: Center (6-3 193), Connecticut Sun
Candice Dupree: Forward (6-2 162), Phoenix Mercury
Sylvia Fowles: Center (6-6 200), Chicago Sky
Brittney Griner: Center (6-8 208), Baylor University
Lindsey Harding: Guard (5-8 139), Atlanta Dream
Asjha Jones: Forward (6-3 196), Connecticut Sun
Kara Lawson: Guard (5-9 165), Connecticut Sun
Angel McCoughtry: Forward (6-1 160), Atlanta Dream
Renee Montgomery: Guard (5-7 139), Connecticut Sun
Maya Moore: Forward (6-0 170), Minnesota Lynx
Candace Parker: F/C/G (6-4 172), Los Angeles Sparks
Cappie Pondexter: Guard (5-9 160), New York Liberty
Diana Taurasi: G/F (6-0 172), Phoenix Mercury
Lindsay Whalen: Guard (5-9 150), Minnesota Lynx
Sophia Young: Forward (6-1 165), San Antonio Silver Stars