Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, WNBA

USA Basketball Cites Lack Of Experience As To Why Caitlin Clark Left Off Team

USA basketball officials said a lack of international experience is the reason why Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark was not selected to represent Team USA in the Paris Olympics this summer.

Selection committee chair Jen Rizzotti said that, yes, USA Basketball was entirely aware of the noise and outright rage that's been making the rounds since it was learned Clark would not be on the team.

"Here's the basketball criteria that we were given as a committee and how do we evaluate our players based on that?" Rizzotti told The Associated Press. "And when you base your decision on criteria, there were other players that were harder to cut because they checked a lot more boxes. Then sometimes it comes down to position, style of play for Cheryl (Reeve) and then sometimes a vote."

The U.S. selection committee has also come under fire for including Diana Taurasi on the team, and not necessarily because she's 42. But she made it as a rookie back in 2004 for the games in Athens — and fans expected Team USA would allow Clark to do the same. People tune in to watch Clark, the skeptics say, but not the others.

"It's a great mix of talent across the board in terms of individual skill sets," USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said. "We have veterans, newcomers and those in the middle. Good perspective and continuity is such an important thing and is why we've been successful in the Olympics."

Clark, however, does not have that experience.

"She's certainly going to continue to get better and better," Tooley said. "Really hope that she's a big part of our future going forward."