The 2.03m center, who led Baylor to the NCAA title earlier this month and was named the Associated Press Player of the Year, was among the leading candidates to fill the 12th and final roster spot in Geno Auriemma’s team but has cited an unspecified family illness and summer school classes as reasons for not being available.
Griner said: “Because of a family illness and my school schedule during the summer, I have told USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director, Carol Callan, that I will be unable to participate this summer with the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team.
“I am disappointed that I will be unable to participate, but I want to stay involved in USA Basketball and hope to again have the opportunity to represent my country in future international competition.”
Had Griner been selected, she would have been the first NCAA player in the women’s team to play at an Olympics since the 1988 Seoul Games when Vicky Bullett (Maryland) and Bridgette Gordon (Tennessee).
Griner passed up the chance to turn professional and will play her senior season at Baylor.
She had played with the United States on their tour of Europe last season.
Griner has averaged 21.6 points and 8.6 rebounds a game with 594 blocked shots in her three years at Baylor.
She is the first NCAA player with 2,000 career points and 500 blocked shots.
USA Basketball executive director/CEO Jim Tooley said: “It’s unfortunate that Brittney is unable to participate with USA Basketball this summer; however, we have an extremely deep and talented USA National Team program and remain confident that we will field a very competitive team that all Americans will be very proud of.
“This in no way precludes Brittney from future USA National Team events; she is a young and talented player with a bright future ahead of her in international basketball and we look forward to her continued involvement.
“We wish nothing but the best for Brittney and her family.”
The United States have won gold medals at six of the last seven Olympics and will be aiming to finish top of the podium for the fifth consecutive time.
Other leading candidates to fill the 12th spot include Asjha Jones, Candice Dupree and Cappie Pondexter.
Jones and Dupree represented the gold-medal winning USA at the 2010 FIBA World Championship while Pondexter, a former WNBA Finals MVP with Phoenix, played in the title-winning side at the 2008 Olympics.
Read the full article at http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/p/newsid/51255/arti.html (141)