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Leslie, Staley Named to 2004 Olympic Team

October 8, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ WNBA veterans Lisa Leslie and Dawn Staley were among the first seven players selected Wednesday for the U.S. women’s national basketball team that’s expected to compete at the 2004 Athens Games.

Leslie, from the Los Angeles Sparks, and Staley, from the Charlotte Sting, helped the United States win the gold medal at the 1996 and 2000 games.

Also named to the team, which will be coached by the Houston Comets’ Van Chancellor, were Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, Shannon Johnson of the Connecticut Sun, DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Sparks, Katie Smith of the Minnesota Lynx and Tina Thompson of the Comets.

Milton-Jones and Smith also played on the 2000 Olympic team. All but Thompson played on the U.S. team that Chancellor coached to the gold medal at the 2002 World Championships.

By winning the world championship, the United States automatically qualified for the Olympics.

``I’m very excited with the seven core players that USA Basketball has selected,″ Chancellor said. ``I’m familiar with what they can do and I’m excited to work with them again as we get ready for the Olympic Games.″

Other players will join the seven in training next year, after which the final five team members will be selected.

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