Less than a month ago, I blogged about the USA men’s basketball team winning the world championship by beating host Turkey in the final. Now, it’s time to give the USA women’s basketball team some props. The American women won the world title 3 October and, similar to the USA men, they beat the host country in the gold medal game.
The USA defeated the Czech Republic, 89-69, with Angel McCoughtry scoring a game-high 18 points for the Americans. Diana Taurasi had 16 points for the USA, while Sue Bird scored 11 points. McCoughtry, Taurasi and Bird all play professionally in the Women’s National Basketball Association, and such professional experience cannot be underestimated when it comes to international competition. Bird, no relation to former Boston Celtics great Larry Bird, was on the court for 31 minutes against the Czechs, the most playing time of any American player. She traveled to the Czech Republic after recently helping the Seattle Storm win its second WNBA championship. In addition to the two WNBA titles, Bird has two Olympic gold medals with the USA, as well as two NCAA championships at the University of Connecticut. Simply put, Sue Bird knows what it’s like to play in big games.
There’s been talk in recent years that USA basketball is slipping, as the game becomes more popular around the world and more foreign players ply their trade in both the NBA and the WNBA. Based on what I saw in Turkey and the Czech Republic, though, the USA seems more than ready to meet the international challenge. And for 2010, USA Basketball is golden.