9. Angel McCoughtry
Angel Lajuane McCoughtry (born September 10, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She completed her college career at the University of Louisville in 2009. She was selected first overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2009 WNBA Draft and is considered its franchise player. She also plays for the Turkish team Mersin BŞB in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League.
McCoughtry was invited to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp in the fall of 2009. The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team travelled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. McCoughtry earned most valuable player honors at the Ekaterinburg International Invitational Tournament, as she helped the USA Basketball team win the competition.
McCoughtry was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve of this group will be chosen to represent the USA in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
McCoughtry was selected to be a member of the National team representing the USA at the World Championships held in September and October 2010. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first games against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead and the USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. McCoughtry was the second leading scorer with 11.3 points per game. She also led the team in steals with a total of 24.
McCoughtry was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball. This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.
McCoughtry was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women’s basketball players, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster which will represent the USA at the 2012 Olympics in London. She was selected and was part of the US team that won the gold medal.