Lynx star Napheesa Collier ready to contribute for Team USA at 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

Lynx star Napheesa Collier joked that when she played for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, she would have been content simply getting water for some of her veteran teammates. Just one year into her WNBA career out of Connecticut, she was just happy to be on the team. So she wasn’t too surprised that she played sparingly during the team’s run to a gold medal.

It’s a little bit different this time around as Collier, 27, prepares for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Now the Lynx’s best player, the 6-foot-1 forward officially was announced as a member of the 12-player Olympics roster on Tuesday, and she figures to be a key contributor for Team USA in its quest for yet another gold medal.

“The goal is the same: To win gold,” she said. “No matter what that looks like for me, that’s what I want the result to be.”

The selection is very much deserved for Collier, who has taken her game to another level as of late. She is averaging 21.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals through 11 games this season, and has the Lynx near the top of the league standings as a result. She currently is the only player in the WNBA this season to produce more than 200 points, 100 rebounds, 35 assists, 20 steals and 15 blocks.

Those stats speak for themselves as Collier has continued to take consistent steps forward throughout her career.

“I’m a better overall player, and I think my basketball IQ is higher,” she said. “Hopefully I can showcase those skills.”

As for the level of competition worldwide, Collier promised that Team USA would not take any opponent lightly. Never mind that the Americans have dominated for decades, winning every Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball over the past 28 years — in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and the 2020 Games in 2021. That doesn’t guarantee anything for 2024 as far as Collier is concerned.

“It’s going to take a lot,” she said. “The talent gets better and better every year. You want to knock down the person who’s on top, and we’ve been on top for so long, I know everybody is coming for blood.”

Team USA roster

Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx)

Kahleah Copper (Phoenix Mercury)

Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces)

Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)

Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty)

Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)

Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces)

Breanna Stewart (New York Liberty)

Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)

Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun)

A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces)

Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces)