The USA women breeze to another 30pt win against Czech Republic. The Czech Republic as well as Turkey gave USA a competitive run for the first two quarters but unfortunately for them, rather than the game being decided in the first 20 minutes, it takes another half to get the required 40 minutes of basketball. In my last blog I stated how D.O.M.I.N.A.N.T. the women are and in this blog I want to talk about how special they are.
If you follow USA women’s basketball you know that Tara VanDerveer led a Dream Team of her own for the women in the 1996 Olympics. She was able to get 12 of the most talented women to come together and play different colleges as well as around the world one year before the Olympic games. Coach Van Derveer and company set the standard for USA women’s basketball focusing on strength, condition, and 40 minutes of playing on both ends of the floor.
I recall playing against that Dream Team at NC State my sophomore season. I was amazed at how physically strong and talented these women were. I remember Katrina McClain just clobbering my shot and going after every rebound. I remember Teresa Edwards not letting our guards breathe with the ball and how she just made the game look so easy on defense and offense.
My team came out playing the game for fun and playing the game in awe of some of the greatest women ever to play the game. We talked about it after the game and for days afterward about how hard they played. We thought at half-time they would ease up and let us score a little, but they were serious and game ready for 40mins of basketball. They taught us that day that playing basketball was more than a game. Basketball wasn’t 5 mins but 40mins. They set the standard of where women’s basketball was going and how we should learn to play.
I say all of this to say that is why this USA women’s team is so special. They are showing us what the 1996 Gold Medal Women showed us back in Atlanta: Bronze and silver just aren’t good enough. We are suppose to dominate and we do that by playing the entire 40minutes.
In the last three minutes of the game against the Czech Republic USA women are up by 25. Coach Auriemma substituted Asjha Jones, Swin Cash, and Angel McCoughtry into the game and they came in and played like the game had just started. They played the game as if the USA women were losing by 25pts. They hustled, rebounded and went all out on every possesion until the final buzzer. I point out the players towards the end of the game because for most athletes it’s so hard to continue to dominate after you are up by 25points.
With that being said the starters and every player rotated into the game played every possession like it mattered. They are showing us game after game the standard that the 96 Women’s Dream Team showed us. This is more than a game as many players have been quoted as saying as well as tweeting. This isn’t just a game this is “Operation Gold.” For the 2012 team as well as that 96 team anything other than the Gold would be a failure.