Diana Taurasi already looking ahead to 2024 Olympics in Paris, a record sixth gold medal
Diana Taurasi will be 42 by the time the Paris Olympics kick off next summer.
Diana Taurasi sounds like she never wants to retire.
Taurasi, ahead of what will be her 19th WNBA season this summer, is already looking forward to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
While that’s still 17 months away, and Taurasi would be 42 by the time those Games kick off, Taurasi isn’t ruling it out.
“It’s something that is on my radar,” Taurasi said Tuesday after USA Basketball training camp in Minnesota, via The Associated Press. “I’m still competitive, still driven, still want to play. I still love being a part of USA Basketball.”
Taurasi made her Olympic debut in 2004, when she helped lead the United States to a gold medal in Athens. Since then, Taurasi and the Americans have won four straight — including at last year’s rescheduled Olympics in Tokyo. The U.S. beat Japan 90-75 in the gold medal game in Japan to go a perfect 6-0 at the games.
She’s won three gold medals at the FIBA World Cup, too, though she missed last year’s event in Australia due to a quad strain.
While the Olympics are still a ways off, and Taurasi will have to retire from the game eventually, a sixth gold medal would break her tie with Sue Bird and set a new Team USA record should they win in Paris next summer.
"If the opportunity comes to play and be a part of it, it's something I've always taken a lot of pride in," Taurasi said, via The Associated Press. "When you get to my age at this point in my career, you just try to win every day. Right now, this is a good opportunity to be part of this team moving forward. We'll see what happens."
Diana Taurasi eyeing reunion with Brittney Griner
Taurasi is currently a free agent in the WNBA, but she’s expected to sign a deal to return to the Phoenix Mercury. She averaged 16.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds last season.
Part of signing with the Mercury again would likely mean reuniting with Brittney Griner, who was freed after spending 10 months in a Russian prison last year. Griner has vowed to return to play again in 2023.
Taurasi was one of plenty around the league who consistently advocated for Griner's release. Getting to see her again after that ordeal, Taurasi said Tuesday, was incredibly emotional.
"I'm not a person who lives in a fake world of optimism ... I thought it would be a long time before I saw my friend again," Taurasi said, via Winsidr's Myles Ehrlich. "Every single day, we suffered. Not until I saw her did I believe it. Just to see her smile was emotional for everyone."