Women's hoops pros to play in area

Posted: July 20, 2007

TRENTON - There might not be a WNBA team in the area, but the best of the women's pro basketball league will be spending some time here and in Philadelphia in September.

USA Basketball announced yesterday that its senior national women's team will meet Australia in an exhibition game at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at Sovereign Bank Arena. The squad will also spend Sept. 13-15 training at Temple's Liacouras Center.

"It's a good time to do this," USA Basketball president Val Ackerman, the former head of the WNBA, said yesterday of the exhibition game. "Kids will be back in school, vacations will be over, and the Eagles won't be playing football until the next night."

Temple coach Dawn Staley, who won three gold medals before her retirement as a player last summer, is an assistant on the U.S. squad to Anne Donovan, the coach of the WNBA Seattle Storm.

Staley is also the head coach of the U.S. Pan American Games squad. Her national team will begin competition today against Columbia in Rio de Janeiro.

The U.S. roster contains WNBA stars Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury, Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, and Tennessee junior Candace Parker. Former Rutgers star Cappie Pondexter, who plays for Phoenix, is also a candidate for the final squad.

Lauren Jackson of Seattle and Penny Taylor of Phoenix are the leading Australian stars.

The contest is a rematch of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game in Athens, Greece, won by the United States.

Contact staff writer Mel Greenberg

at 215-854-5725 or mgreenberg@phillynews.com. Read his blog on women's basketball at http://womhoops.blogspot.com.

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