Women’s 3×3 roster revealed for 2024 Paris Olympics

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Hailey Van Lith is going to be an Olympian. 

On Wednesday, USA Basketball announced the roster for the women’s 3×3 team at the Paris Olympics, and the college All-American, who will play at her third school in three years this fall, is on the roster. Van Lith will be joined by Los Angeles Sparks forward Cameron Brink, 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard of the Atlanta Dream and Cierra Burdick, a former star at Tennessee. 

It’s been a whirlwind last 18 months for Van Lith, to say the least. 

One of the first athletes to cash in on NIL, Van Lith was an All-American at Louisville in 2022-23 who transferred in the offseason to LSU, joining the defending national champion Tigers before her fourth year. Though she was heralded as the best transfer available in the portal that offseason, Van Lith struggled in Baton Rouge. That was put on full display in LSU’s Elite Eight game vs. Iowa, where Caitlin Clark went off for 41 points, mostly with Van Lith guarding her (Iowa won 94-87). Her draft stock plummeted. Though LSU coach Kim Mulkey said she hoped Van Lith would return for her COVID year, the 5-foot-7 combo guard hit the transfer portal again, ultimate landing at TCU.

In Paris she’ll be joined by fellow Olympic rookie Brink, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Howard, who starred at Kentucky before becoming one of the best scorers in the WNBA, and Burdick will also be making their Olympic debuts. 

At 30, Burdick is the oldest player on the team (Van Lith and Brink are both 22, Howard is 24). Though she hasn’t been to an Olympics before, Burdick is a 3×3 veteran, having played in numerous 3×3 events over the past decade. She has gold medals from 3×3 tournaments including the Pan American Games, as well as the 2023 and 2014 FIBA World Cups. 

Jennifer Rizzotti, president of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, will coach the team. 

‘I say this all the time but there is no greater privilege than to represent the USA at the Olympics,’ Rizzotti said in a release from USA Basketball. ‘We understand that challenge in front of us as we face tremendous talent and experienced 3×3 teams. I am confident this roster gives us what we need to compete for another gold medal with experience, versatility and a commitment to USA Basketball excellence. I cannot wait to get started.’

The 3×3 event made its debut at the Tokyo games. It’s different than 5-on-5 in that it’s played in the half-court, with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock. Play is continuous, and teams ‘clear’ the ball behind the 2-point line after a made basket, defensive rebound or steal. The first team to score 21 points – regular field goals are worth one point and shots from behind the arc are worth two – or the team leading at the buzzer, wins. Players say it’s an extraordinarily physical game. 

In Tokyo, the American team of Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Allisha Gray and Stefanie Dolson took home the gold medal. Plum and Young, both members of the Las Vegas Aces, are likely to make the USA women’s 5×5 roster, which will be announced in the coming weeks. 

This post appeared first on USA TODAY