Last weekend, the USA Basketball women’s national team began training in New York City in preparation for the 2024 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Antwerp, Belgium. It’s been a tough weekend for Washington Mystics given that Natasha Cloud is now with the Phoenix Mercury. But the good news is that Ariel Atkins remains a Mystic, and she will be on the Olympic qualifying team.
This is not a surprise. Atkins was a member of the 2020 Olympic and the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup teams, both which won gold. She is a 3-and-D player at her core as opposed to a ball dominant scorer, something that superstar-laden teams, even Team USA can use.
In addition to Atkins, Mystics General Manager Mike Thibault is an assistant coach for Team USA. The head coach is Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.
The Americans will play Belgium on Feb. 8 at 2:15 p.m. ET when Atkins will face off against Mystics training camp signee Julie Vanloo. That should make this game one for all Mystics fans to watch!