NCAA honors 2016 women's basketball Olympic gold medalists
Team will participate in fan events throughout the Women’s Final Four
DALLAS — Seven members of the 2016 Olympic gold-medalist USA women’s basketball team will attend the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four and be recognized during halftime of the national championship game Sunday, April 2, for their accomplishments at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They will also participate in a variety of fan events throughout the weekend, including autograph signings and a celebrity 3v3 game at Tourney Town.
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Attendees will include:
Seimone Augustus is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time All-American who won the Naismith College Player of the Year award, Wooden Award and Wade Trophy in 2005 and 2006 while leading the Louisiana State Lady Tigers to three straight Final Four appearances. Her uniform number (33) was retired by LSU in January 2010, making her the first female athlete in school history to receive that honor. After suffering back-to-back ACL tears and undergoing a hysterectomy, Augustus continues to be one of the top scorers in the history of women’s basketball. She is a five-time WNBA All-Star and was the 2011 Finals Most Valuable Player.
Sue Bird is one of only seven women to win an Olympic gold medal (she has won four), a world championship gold medal (three), an NCAA championship (two) and a WNBA championship (two). Bird is also a nine-time WNBA All-Star. She was named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time in 2011, and last year was named one of the WNBA’s 20 greatest and most influential players in celebration of the league’s 20th season. Off the court, Bird works behind the microphone as a basketball analyst for ESPN.
Tamika Catchings, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a former WNBA champion, holds the all-time WNBA records in free throws, rebounds and steals. Catchings competed for 15 years in the WNBA, all with the Indiana Fever. In 2015, she was the first recipient of the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award. A four-time All-American and Naismith College Player of the Year in 2000, Catchings won a national championship with the Tennessee women’s basketball program, playing on the 1997-98 undefeated Lady Vols team. Since her retirement from professional basketball following the 2016 WNBA season, Catchings has worked as an announcer for the SEC Network and for ESPN's coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.
Tina Charles, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA All-Star, is just the third player in WNBA history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season. She has 129 double-double performances, ranking second in league history to Lisa Leslie. A two-time NCAA national champion, John R. Wooden Award recipient and Naismith College Player of the Year at UConn, Charles is the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder, and ranks third all-time with 304 career blocks. She currently plays for the New York Liberty.
Maya Moore is a three-time WNBA champion and four-time WNBA All-Star. Moore holds the Minnesota Lynx franchise single-season record for points scored, and matched the WNBA record with five 3-pointers in one quarter in 2012. She has earned multiple Most Valuable Player accolades throughout her professional career, including the regular-season WNBA MVP in 2014 and the WNBA Finals MVP in 2013. Moore holds the record for career points at UConn, where she was a two-time NCAA national champion and just the second player in NCAA history to be named a four-time All-American. She earned three Wade Trophy awards, two John. R. Wooden Awards and two Naismith College Player of the Year awards.
Breanna Stewart is a four-time NCAA champion and four-time Women's Final Four Most Outstanding Player — the first college athlete, woman or man, to accomplish that feat. Stewart was the top pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, selected by the Seattle Storm, and was the youngest member of the 2016 U.S. gold medal-winning team in Rio. The 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Stewart set the single-season defensive rebound record with 277, breaking the previous record set by Lisa Leslie.
Lindsay Whalen is a three-time WNBA champion and six-time WNBA All Star. Whalen, who plays for the Minnesota Lynx, is one of six players in WNBA history to record 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in her career. A three-time All-American, she holds the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, career records in points, scoring average, games in double figures, free throws made and free throw percentage, and led the Minnesota program to its first Women's Final Four appearance in 2004. With the Lynx, she holds the single-season and career franchise records for assists.
Scheduled fan event appearances:
Beyond the Baseline: On Saturday, April 1, Seimone Augustus will participate on the Ebony Magazine Beyond the Baseline panel focusing on public speaking, social media tips and best practices. Beyond the Baseline is a networking and professional development event sponsored by the NCAA and its partners. The event is free, and registration is required. To learn more, visit ncaa.com/womens-final-four/beyond-baseline.
Play4Kay Game: Several of the Olympians will be available to meet fans on Saturday, April 1, for autograph sessions at Tourney Town during the Play4Kay Game. Breanna Stewart and Lindsay Whalen will be available from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m., and Seimone Augustus and Tamika Catchings will be available from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tourney Town will be located outside the American Airlines Center. Tourney Town is open to fans of all ages, and admission is free. Hours can be found online at ncaa.com/womens-final-four/tourney-town.
Alum Nation 3v3 Game: On Sunday, April 2, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen will serve as Alum Nation 3v3 Game celebrity coaches. The game will start at 1:30 p.m. and run until 2 p.m., also in Tourney Town.