Mystics guard Ariel Atkins to attend 2021 Team USA training camp

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Tyler Byrum
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Mystics' Ariel Atkins to attend Team USA training camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington Mystics' guard Ariel Atkins will attend Team USA's annual training camp this upcoming February in preparation for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics later this year. 

This is the second-straight year that Atkins will join the exclusive group after being named to the U.S. National Team pool last season.

Atkins is one of 19 players that will be a part of the four-day minicamp that will be held from Feb. 4-7 on the campus of the University of South Carolina. Players will train for the upcoming Olympics and their performance could be a factor in the final roster selection. Ultimately, 12 players will be selected to the national team (unless rosters are expanded due to the coronavirus pandemic) to compete in Japan. 

Atkins played in three games for the National Team in 2020 as a part of Olympic qualification. In her debut tournament, the 5'8" guard averaged 6.3 points and shot 58.3% from the field, including making four of her six attempted 3-pointers. 

During last year's coronavirus-shortened WNBA season, Atkins arose to a leader on the Washington Mystics roster that was void of most of the organization's superstars. It resulted in a career-year for Atkins, where she posted highs in all shooting averages, points, rebounds, assists and steals. Much of her talent has been seen on the defensive side of the ball evident by her three-straight WNBA All-Defensive Second Teams. She's been a starter for the team since early on her rookie season. 

Atkins has been a part of the Team USA system since 2014 when she made the U-18 roster. In 2017 she was named to the U-23 team. 

Washington teammates Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles will not join Team USA for next month's training camp. However, the two still remain as a part of the 36-player pool from where the Olympic roster will be set. Both did not play in the WNBA in 2020. Charles had a medical opt-out and Delle Donne was recovering from back surgery. Each had medical concerns on playing as well because of COVID-19.