The USA women’s basketball team has won four consecutive gold medals, is ranked number one in the FIBA world rankings, are the FIBA world champions, have won 33 straight games in Olympic competition going back to the 1996 Atlanta Games are heavily favored to take an unprecedented fifth one here in London but get no love at home compared to the men.
But on the TransGriot electronic pages, they will.
“I think it’s funny,” Diana Taurasi said. “We’re a team that’s won four gold
medals in a row and yet we’re still fighting for respect in our own
country. I think it’s a little sad. That’s a heck of a motivator for all
of us in the gym. Our level is so high, it becomes normal and even to
the public `it’s they should win the gold medal. If they don’t it’s a
USA Head Coach Geno Auriemma also wants to make it a big deal
“If we win another gold medal it’s not going to be a huge story,” he
said in an ESPN interview. “I want to make it a huge story because the respect that Dee’s
talking about that these kids deserve for having done what they’ve done
and been able to do it the way they do it should be appreciated.
Greatness should be appreciated and not taken for granted.
“People take us for granted.”
Some US fans may take a ‘ho hum, they’re supposed to win’ attitude toward the women ballers, but their opponents definitely don’t. They get their opponents A game every time they play, and they still since 1996 have only had one team come within single digits of them during this historic run.
The Team USA average margin of victory during this streak has been 29 points, and the only blemish in international competition since 1996 was a 75-68 semifinal loss in the 2006 FIBA Women’s World Championships in Brazil against Russia
This team is also experienced. It’s funny to think of Maya Moore, Asjha Jones, Tina Charles, Lindsay Whalen and Angel McCoughtry as rookies on this 2012 Olympic squad but that’s exactly what they are since this is their first Olympics even though they have years of international basketball playing time under their belts.
For example, Maya Moore has been involved in USA basketball since she was 17, and has won international titles as a member of the FIBA U-19, World University Games, and FIBA world championship teams. Now she gets an opportunity to add an Olympic gold medal to that list.
You also add these Olympic rookies to a team that has veteran Olympic ballers such as Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker and it’s going to be a fun one to watch.
They start Olympic Group A play July 28 against a Croatian team that has been surging in the FIBA women’s ranking lately, then face Angola on Monday, July 30, Turkey on Wednesday, August 1, a 2010 FIBA world championship game rematch with the Czech Republic on August 3 and close out group play on
Sunday, August 5 with China.
The Drive For Five and the respect of the American sporting public begins after the Olympic flame is lit.later today.