Storm forward Katie Lou Samuelson excited for first Olympic experience in 3x3 competition

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Storm forward Katie Lou Samuelson excited for first Olympic experience in 3x3 competition originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The USA Women's 3x3 National Team tipped off its training in Las Vegas on July 13.

Training for the Olympics’ 3x3 play will run from the 13-18.

But this roster has already spent plenty of time together when they clinched the Olympic berth at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

USA head coach Kara Lawson is eager for Olympic play to begin, saying in the team’s press release, “It is our first day of practice here in a couple hours, and we don't have to start at square one with this group. They know our plays. They know the discipline. So the foundation, even though it's maybe not as not as large as the other countries we're going to be playing against, we still do have a foundation of having played together, having been in tough games together, and we're going to count on that to start from in this place, and I'm sure we're going to count on that and lean on that when we get over to Tokyo.”

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Not only is the University of Connecticut well represented, but here in the Pacific Northwest we will be cheering on Seattle Storm forward Katie Lou Samuelson.

Here’s the complete roster for the U.S. women's Olympic 3x3 basketball team: 

  • Stefanie Dolson

  • Allisha Gray

  • Kelsey Plum 

  • Katie Lou Samuelson

And, Samuelson is no stranger to 3-on-3. 

She won 3-on-3 gold medals at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2013 FIBA U18 World Cup. 

The 24-year-old will be the first USA Basketball player to compete in a Youth Olympic Games and the Olympics. 

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Samuelson spoke with the media Thursday afternoon, expressing her excitement.

She also added that her Storm teammate Breanna Stewart gave her great advice ahead of Samuelson’s first Olympic experience.

“Stewie has talked to me a bit and her biggest piece of advice was just soak in every single moment, be a sponge, just enjoy it,” Samuelson said.

I’ve loved 3-on-3 since I’ve been playing. I’ve been playing since I was 16 years old. I think it’s something that’s really been a huge part of my development and something that I think people should all try out 3-on-3 at some point when they play basketball.

Katie Lou Samuelson

The half-court game of 3-on-3 is played with a 12-second shot clock with one-point baskets within the arc and baskets from outside the arc are worth two points. A made free throw also counts as one point. 

The first to 21 points or whichever team is leading after 10 minutes of play is crowned the winner.

Samuelson also had a message for all the new fans to the 3x3 competition:

“I would just tell them to give it a chance and watch it. I think people… people don’t really expect how high-paced, how fast it actually is until you watch a game and you see how physical it is and how quickly you’ve got to get the ball and just give it a chance to see what we do… I think people will really enjoy it and see how exciting 3-on-3 actually is.”

This summer’s Olympic 3-on-3 competition will tip-off July 24 at Aomi Urban Sports Park, with the U.S. facing France and followed by a matchup against Mongolia.