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Why didn't Caitlin Clark make Olympic team? Women's national team committee chair explains

Caitlin Clark didn't make the US women's basketball team roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and the chair of the team's selection committee is "proud" of how the selection process went.

Jen Rizzotti, chair of the women's national team committee for USA Basketball, didn't specify exactly why Clark didn't make the roster, but noted they did take her into consideration.

"This has been a three-year process for us. Caitlin, in addition to other players that didn’t make the team, have been evaluated on their whole body of work. There were definitely some unique circumstances surrounding Caitlin, but at the end of the day, I’m proud our committee stayed honed in on the selection criteria," she said. "None of those criteria talk about TV viewership or marketability.

"It was the committee’s job to pick the 12 that, based on our selection criteria – as much as you want to maybe make conversation around how we should have considered TV viewership or jersey sales or popularity, that wasn’t the purview of the committee to have those discussions. The selection criteria were made very clear to us. Eventually, we had to block out some of that outside noise."

According to the selection committee, 11 criteria were used to determine who would be on the roster:

  • U.S. citizenship

  • Availability

  • Position

  • Playing ability

  • Versatility to play other positions

  • Coachability

  • Attitude

  • Adaptability to team concept

  • Leadership

  • Adaptability to international game

  • Likelihood of contributing to success of team

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after her third foul against the Connecticut Sun in the second quarter at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after her third foul against the Connecticut Sun in the second quarter at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The decision to not include Clark on the Olympic roster has been a controversial decision in the basketball world, with both sides of the argument laying down several reasons why she should or shouldn't be going to Paris.

Clark said earlier this week she isn't disappointed by not being selected and she is excited for the players that made the roster.

"I think it just gives you something to work for. That's a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it's just a little more motivation," she said.

Contributing: Nancy Armour and Jack McKessy

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Why Caitlin Clark didn't make Olympic roster: USA Basketball explains