Why Caitlin Clark is Ineligible for Team USA’s Olympic 3×3 Basketball Squad

The US 3×3 women’s basketball team is grappling with notable challenges this week due to injuries, and the rising WNBA star Caitlin Clark won’t be able to step in to bolster their lineup.

Los Angeles Sparks rookie Cameron Brink and 2022 WNBA No. 1 draft pick Rhyne Howard were selected for the 3×3 team heading to the 2024 Paris Olympics, joining Cierra Burdick and Hailey Van Lith. Unfortunately, these plans have been upended by injuries, prompting Team USA to reassess its roster.

Brink, chosen second overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft, suffered an ACL tear during the Sparks’ clash with the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday evening. This injury not only sidelines her from the Paris Olympics but also ends her WNBA season prematurely.

Howard exited the Atlanta Dream’s match against the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday with a noticeable ankle injury. She is set for further medical evaluations on Thursday, but early indications suggest her Olympic hopes are dimming.

These injuries have sparked discussions about Caitlin Clark’s potential inclusion.

Although Clark, the top pick in 2024, wasn’t initially selected for the Team USA women’s basketball team for Paris, the injuries to Brink and Howard have fueled speculation about her possible involvement in the Olympics.

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Will Caitlin Clark Participate in 3×3 Basketball at the 2024 Olympics?

Regrettably for Team USA, Clark cannot join the 3×3 women’s basketball team.

FIBA’s player eligibility criteria for the Olympic 3×3 roster stipulate:

Two players must rank within the top 10 of their country.

Two players must rank within the top 50 of their country or possess the minimum required ranking points.

Players must participate in other 3×3 competitions to accumulate ranking points. Since Clark hasn’t competed in any 3×3 events, she doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria.

Comprehensive Olympics 3×3 Basketball Eligibility Criteria

In addition to FIBA points, athletes must satisfy the following nationality criteria to compete in the Olympic 3×3 event:

Must possess legal nationality of the country they represent.

Must have presented a passport of the represented country issued by the appropriate authorities before a specified date.

Must not have competed for a national team in basketball and/or 3×3 for another country in any Official FIBA Competition.

Must be at least 18 years old by July 26, 2024.

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