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Former Texas standout Ariel Atkins earns spot on U.S. women's basketball Olympic roster

Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins dribbles the ball against Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird during their 2018 WNBA Finals game at KeyArena in Seattle. Atkins and Bird have both made this year's U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in Tokyo.

Former Texas women's basketball player Ariel Atkins has earned a roster spot on the U.S. women's team at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“This is such a surreal moment and while I am extremely thankful, I honestly don’t think it has really hit me yet,” Atkins said.

Atkins, who plays for the WNBA's Washington Mystics, becomes the fourth Longhorn to compete as a player for Team USA in the Olympics, joining Clarissa Davis (1992, bronze medal), Kamie Ethridge (1988, gold) and Andrea Lloyd (1988, gold). Nell Fortner also served as head coach for Team USA in 2000 and led the Americans to the gold medal in Sydney.

The team was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.

Among the notable players who will join Atkins are former Baylor All-American Brittney Griner and five-time Olympians Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird of UConn. Sylvia Fowles (LSU) will be playing in the Olympics for the fourth time.

Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic player, will coach Team USA.

Team USA will open Olympics preliminary round play on Saturday against 2019 FIBA Africa champion Nigeria. The U.S. will then face host and 2019 FIBA Asia gold medalist Japan on July 29 and will cap the first round against 2019 FIBA Europe silver medalist France on Aug. 1.

Team USA has a 49-game winning streak in Olympic competition. The Americans have won six straight gold medals and have an overall Olympic record of 66-3.