After much anticipation, the United States Olympic team was finally announced—including one familiar face.
Chelsea Gray, former Blue Devil point guard from 2010-14 and current Las Vegas Aces star point guard, was named the first-ever Duke women’s basketball player to make the Olympic roster.
“I just got the chills, knowing that [I was selected]—actually. I had no idea that was [going to be] the case,” Gray said in a Monday evening U.S. Olympic team Zoom press conference. “And so I’m excited—you represent the United States and what comes with that, and what comes with that family. And so Duke is a part of that family as well.”
Gray played four years in Durham, twice receiving All-American and All-ACC honors, as well as a co-ACC Player of the Year award. She ranks 25th in points, second in assists, third in steals and ninth in 3-point percentage in Duke history, and was a part of three ACC regular season titles and three Elite Eight appearances.
Gray fell to the Connecticut Sun at 11th overall in the 2014 draft due to a fractured kneecap, and was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks after a solid rookie season off the bench. In her first year there, she helped lead the Sparks to a title in the legendary 2016 Finals. She became Los Angeles' starting point guard the following year, and subsequently earned three straight All-Star awards, plus two All-WNBA honors.
With Gray’s breakout coming in 2017, she had missed the opportunity to make the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was a shoo-in for the 2020 Tokyo roster, until the COVID-19 pandemic forced the delay of the Olympics until July 2021. It was widely expected that Gray would make the roster, but that did not lessen her excitement.
“I got the phone call and the rest was kind of a blur,” Gray said. “It caught me off guard. All the great players we [Duke] have had, I just think that speaks volumes to being selected. What I’ve done up to this point to be able to be considered to wear that jersey. It’s an honor to represent the University, and the players that’s come before me. And there’s no reason to take that lightly.”
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