USA Women’s Basketball hosting minicamp this week at Mayo Clinic Square

Some of the best women’s basketball players in the world are in downtown Minneapolis this week, and Cheryl Reeve might be more of a fan or interested observer than she is a coach.

The U.S. Women’s National Team is hosting a three-day minicamp at Mayo Clinic Square, with the Minnesota Timberwolves out of town on a four-game road trip. Team USA is coming off a dominant experience at the FIBA World Cup in Paris last fall, which ended with an 83-61 win over China for a gold medal. It was the team’s 30th straight win, and solidified a trip to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

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Reeve is the head coach, and will be watching over 15 players over a series of workouts.

"I want to go into it with really no preconceived visions. I’m curious, I want to go into it just feeling very curious and try to do things that will help facilitate for them being comfortable for them to be their best," Reeve said Monday via Zoom. "We have the World Cup team and now in this camp, there are more players in the pool that we didn’t necessarily get to see the last go round. There will be a chance to just try to build on chemistry and identity of our team, and a chance for the committee to see more players."

One player who won’t be in Minneapolis this week: Brittney Griner. She’s re-acclimating to life in the United States again after being detained in Russia for 294 days. She was being held for illegal possession of cannabis, and sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

In early December, Griner was freed and came back to U.S. soil after President Joe Biden agreed to a prisoner swap, sending Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout back. Griner isn’t in Minneapolis this week, but is still eligible to compete in the upcoming Paris Games if she wants.

"I haven’t spoken with Brittney personally. I do know that there has been communication on USA Basketball’s side in terms of expressing to Britney that when the time is right, she’s certainly welcome to join. We’ve missed her, and when she’s feels it’s right, we will welcome her back," Reeve said.

One player who will be on the court is Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier. She missed most of the 2022 season after having her first child, a baby girl. She returned just 10 weeks after having her first baby. It was a challenge at the time, but one she wanted to take on try and get the Lynx on a playoff run in Sylvia Fowles’ final season.

Collier was in town last week hosting an event for National Women and Girls in Sports Day, and attended at least one Timberwolves’ game. This week can serve as a springboard heading into the Lynx 2023 season.

"I’m super excited to see her this week, back with USA Basketball. I know she’s missed it terribly, the joy of Mila, no question, was worth it. But I know she wants to get back on the court. I’m very excited to have her back in the fold," Reeve said.

This week’s minicamp is part of the process for the U.S. Women’s National Team committee to determine the roster for the 2024 Olympic Games.