JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Jefferson City native and standout basketball star Napheesa Collier has been selected to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
Collier played for Jefferson City High School her freshman year before transferring to Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis where she won two Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year awards.
Collier then went on to an extremely successful collegiate career at UConn. She won a national title along with various individual awards before being selected 6th overall in the 2019 WNBA draft. Bringing her dominance to the WNBA, Collier won the 2019 Rookie of the Year award along with making the all-star team in her debut season.
Making the United States Olympic team is a special accomplishment for Collier though, and it’s something she’s worked towards.
“I’ve watched the Olympics since I can remember and so to think that one day I’d be on that team, it’s just been, I mean, a dream,” Collier said during Monday’s press conference. “I’ve been doing USA [Basketball] since 2013 and so even before that, this is all I could think about, making the Olympics one day. It’s obviously a huge goal, so to say that I’m here is just crazy.”
Four of the 12 players who made the roster are also former UConn standouts: Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart and WNBA legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.
The 6-foot-1 Missourian began training with the U.S. national team in 2018 and this year, the hard work is finally paying off.
“I feel awesome, this is something that I’ve wanted for such a long time,” Collier said. “To go to the Olympics has always been such a dream, so to have it come true it has been a crazy day.”
The first matchup for the U.S. Women’s Basketball team will be against Nigeria on July 27. The full schedule can be found here.