DENVER — Tamika Catchings knows her role, and the former Tennessee Lady Vol plays it well enough to make the U.S. women's basketball Olympic team for a third time.
Catchings was one of 11 players named on Friday to the U.S. team that will compete in London this summer. Former Connecticut stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are the other two players who will be playing in their third Olympics
"The one thing that has remained the whole time comes from a defensive standpoint," Catchings said. "Even making the team that first time, my role was being that defensive stopper."
UConn's Geno Auriemma is the U.S. coach, and former Huskies Swin Cash, Maya Moore and Tina Charles also are on the roster. Former Lady Vol Candace Parker is among three players returning for a second straight Olympics. The other are former LSU starts Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles.
"In '08, it was one of those experiences that I can never forget and will never forget," Parker said. "I'll be telling my great-grandchildren about standing on the podium and receiving the gold medal."
Lindsay Whalen and Angel McCoughtry will be competing in the Olympics for the first time.
The U.S. has left one spot open on the team. Baylor star Brittney Griner, who is competing at the Final Four this weekend in Denver, is considered a strong candidate. The U.S. will be trying for its fifth straight gold medal.