Mater Dei High School alumnus Katie Lou Samuelson was among the four players nominated Wednesday for the U.S. women’s 3X3 basketball team that will play in the Tokyo Olympics.
Samuelson averaged 3.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament May 26-30 in Graz, Austria, helping the U.S. to a 6-0 record and qualify for the Olympics.
The U.S. is scheduled to begin play in the inaugural 3×3 Olympic basketball competition July 24 against France at 1:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
All four of the U.S. players in the qualifying tournament were nominated to play in the Olympics. Final approval of the selections is required by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and will be announced at a later date.
Samuelson was the only member of the U.S. team in the qualifying tournament who was not selected for the team that was to attempt to qualify for the Olympics in Bengaluru, India in March 2020. The tournament and the Olympics were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“One thing I know with USA Basketball is you never know when you’re going to be needed, to get called up or when you’re going to need to step up,” Samuelson said after the conclusion of the tournament in Austria.
“I’m grateful I had this opportunity to fill in.”
3X3 is played with a 12-second shot clock on a half court. Baskets inside the arc and free throws are worth one point and baskets made from outside the arc are worth two points.
The winner is the first team to score 21 points or the leading team at the end of the 10-minute game clock.
Samuelson was selected as the national player of the year by Gatorade, USA Wednesday, McDonald’s, WBCA and Naismith as a senior at Mater Dei in the 2014-15 season. She was a four-year starter at Connecticut, helping lead the Huskies to the 2016 NCAA championship as a freshman.
Samuelson was chosen by the Chicago Sky with the fourth overall selection in the 2019 WNBA draft. She was traded to the Dallas Wings before the start of the 2020 season, averaging 5.0 points in 20 games. She was traded to the Seattle Storm before the start of the 2021 season.
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