Diana Taurasi talks about the first day of USA Basketball training camp and if she's healthy and ready to play in the Olympics after suffering a hip injury 6 weeks ago.
PHOTO GALLERY: USA Training Camp
WASHINGTON, DC— Worries over the condition of Diana Taurasi’s hip faded faster than the popularity of presidential candidates. The first day of USA training camp at American University proved the five-time WNBA All Star is healthy and ready to compete in London.
“I feel really good,” said Diana, who has been sidelined from the WNBA season for over six weeks after suffering a strained left hip flexor during WNBA training camp with the Phoenix Mercury.
"The hip is good, I'm ready to go get that gold," added the two-time Olympic gold medalist who had no problems running full court and played very physical defense against an all-male practice squad.
The last 30 minutes of practice was devoted completely to Geno Auriemma’s trademark defense -- which is quick, aggressive and downright intimidating. Taurasi looked comfortable staying low in her defensive stance and seemed to have very few cobwebs to shake off.
“When I get on the court I’m ready to go, or else there is really no reason to be out there,” said Taurasi about the level of effort she showed in practice. The international star says she spent several weeks in physical therapy, and after a little rest has spent the last three weeks doing strength and conditioning as well as on-court drills to get back to game form.
Other notes from training camp
Candace Parker (LA Sparks) spontaneously threw down a dunk during layup drills. Not to be shown up, about 30 seconds later, Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) responded with a one-handed jam that equally impressed her teammates. (To date, no woman has dunked in Olympic competition.)
Otherwise, the mood in camp was business-like with a sense of urgency.
“Our time is limited,” said Fowles, who won gold in Beijing. “The few hours we have to practice, we have to lock it in and soak up every little detail so we’re ready when it’s time to compete.”
“Our chemistry is important,” said Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), an Olympic rookie. “We don’t play together much, we play against each other, so we just have to learn each others' games. It’s an adjustment, but after a couple of days, we’ll be sharp.”
Team USA will practice on Sunday before their exhibition game on Monday against Brazil.
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