Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during women’s basketball

A roadmap to follow for the women’s basketball competition during the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Lauren Jackson, Australia: She returned to international play at the 2022 World Cup to lead the Opals to the bronze medal. The 43-year-old three-time WNBA MVP hasn’t played in the Olympics since 2012 because of injuries. Jackson has three silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008) and one bronze (2012).

—Satou Sabally, Germany: She helped Germany qualify for its first Olympics and is one of the top young players in the WNBA, where she plays for the Dallas Wings.

—A’ja Wilson, United States: One of the top faces of the tournament, Wilson has been a winner everywhere she has played, winning an NCAA title at South Carolina, two WNBA championships with the Las Vegas Aces and Olympic gold in Tokyo.

—Emma Meesseman, Belgium: She helped Belgium reach the quarterfinals at Tokyo three years ago.

—Megan Gustafson, Spain: After playing in college at Iowa, the Wisconsin native went through the naturalization process so she could play for Spain, which finished sixth at the Tokyo Olympics. She now plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Storylines to Follow

—The U.S. hasn’t lost a game since the 1992 Olympics. It has an incredible frontcourt in Wilson, Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner, who will be playing in her first international game since spending 10 months in a Russian jail in 2022. Can the Americans win gold for an eighth consecutive Olympics?

—While the U.S. is a heavy favorite to repeat, the other medal spots are up for grabs. Japan got silver in Tokyo, but the team has since undergone a lot of change, including a new coach. Host France is a medal contender after winning the bronze three years ago. China won the silver medal at the 2022 World Cup and will try to earn its first Olympic medal since 1992.

Key Dates

The competition begins July 28 in Lille, France, with the preliminary round continuing until Aug. 4. The elimination rounds will be played in Paris, with the quarterfinals on Aug. 7, the semifinals two days later and the medal games on Aug. 11, the final day of the Olympics.

Reigning Champion

The U.S. has won the last seven gold medals.


AP Summer Olympics:

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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