Meet the team responsible for feeding Team USA in Tokyo


USA TODAY 20 July, 2021 - 10:08am 11 views

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USA 3x3 women's basketball player Katie Lou Samuelson out of Olympics after positive COVID-19 test

USA TODAY 20 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

Less than a week from the debut of 3x3 basketball, the Seattle Storm forward announced she is out of the Olympics despite being fully vaccinated.

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WNBA players Stefanie Dolson, Katie Lou Samuelson, Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum teach you everything you need to know about Olympic 3x3 basketball. USA TODAY

Another U.S athlete will miss out on the Tokyo Olympics.

Katie Lou Samuelson, who was instrumental in the U.S. qualifying for the first-ever Olympic 3x3 women's basketball competition, was in COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Saturday and will not compete in Tokyo, USA Basketball announced. 

The team's first game is scheduled for Saturday against France.

"Our hearts are broken for Lou. We thank her for her endless commitment to building up USA Basketball 3x3 & we will miss her dearly in Tokyo," USA Basketball tweeted on Monday.

Samuelson is currently a member of the Seattle Storm and was part of the team that qualified for the Olympics alongside Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum, Chicago Sky center Stefanie Dolson and Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray. Samuelson will be replaced by Aces guard Jackie Young for the games.

Samuelson posted on Instagram that she was "fully vaccinated and took every precaution" against COVID-19.

"Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon, I can comeback to realize that dream," Samuelson wrote. "I wish nothing but the best to my USAB teammates as they go out there and crush it. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way."

Katie Lou Samuelson just posted this on Instagram regarding her COVID-19 diagnosis:

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Samuelson is one of an increasing number of athletes and others in Tokyo who have been placed in COVID-19 protocols. On Sunday, U.S. tennis player Coco Gauff said she tested positive for COVID-19 and would withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics, while an alternate on the U.S. women's gymnastics team in Tokyo tested positive for the virus. Tokyo Olympic organizers said on Saturday a "games-concerned personnel" member in the Olympic Village also tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 55 people connected with Tokyo 2020 had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday, according to organizers.

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Katie Lou Samuelson off Tokyo Olympic 3x3 team after falling ill with COVID-19

Yahoo Sports 19 July, 2021 - 12:12pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Katie Lou Samuelson, a key member of Team USA's first-ever 3x3 women's basketball team, was placed in COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Saturday and will not compete in the tournament, USA Basketball announced on Monday.

Samuelson, a member of the Seattle Storm, will be replaced by Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young. She joins Kelsey Plum (Aces), Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings) and Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky) for the U.S. 

Samuelson, 24, won 3x3 gold medals at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2013 FIBA U18 Wold Cup. She would have been the first USA Basketball player to compete at both the Youth Olympic Games and Olympics. 

She said on Instagram she fell ill with COVID and is devastated to miss the Olympics. She said she is part of the 99 percent of WNBA players who are fully vaccinated.

"I wish nothing but the best to my USAB teammates as they go out there and crush it. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way." 

The former UConn Huskies star has experienced a string of tough breaks in her young career. She broke her foot as a freshman during the 2016 national semifinals and couldn't play in the final that UConn won. She had to undergo ankle surgery following her junior year. In 2019, her rookie year with the Chicago Sky, she missed time with a hand injury. 

Samuelson is coming off a breakout season in Europe that closed with a Spanish League title while playing for Perfumerías Avenida. She was named to the All-EuroLeague first-team and is a leading contributor for the Storm behind Olympians Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird. 

Samuelson, Plum, Gray and Dolson clinched the United States spot in the tournament in May at the Olympic qualifying tournament. They were chosen by USA Basketball to continue representing the nation on the Olympic stage.

The 3x3 competition is part of the Olympics for the first time this year. It's a half-court game played to a maximum 10 minutes with a 12-second shot clock. Baskets inside the arc are worth one point and outside the arc are worth two. Free throws are also one apiece. The first team to 21 wins, or whichever team is leading at the 10-minute mark.

Young, a third-year player who entered the draft as a junior out of Notre Dame, played on the USA Basketball 3x3 team during the 2019 World Beach Games. The team went 3-1, losing in the quarterfinals to Brazil. She was also part of the team's training camp in February 2020. 

The U.S. is set to play France followed by Mongolia to open the tournament on Saturday. There are eight teams in total competing.  

Positive tests are beginning to pile up in Japan where athletes and media members are still arriving and currently training for the Games that officially begin Friday at the Opening Ceremony. Other competitions begin earlier in the week. 

Tennis star Coco Gauff had to pull out of the Olympics on Sunday with a positive COVID-19 test. An alternate for the U.S. women's gymnastics team also tested positive in recent days, the organization announced Monday. And Bradley Beal has been ruled out for the men's basketball team for the same reason. 

Positive tests have also impacted other countries as they descend upon Japan, a country that is largely unvaccinated and has seen an increase in case numbers over the past few weeks. 

"Our hearts are broken for Lou."

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