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Saturday, September 09, 2006

U.S. women's national team has strong state flavor

Next week the U.S. women's national team begins its quest for the world basketball title in Brazil. Fully one-fourth of the team is from Louisiana, including two from the Shreveport-Bossier City area -- former Southwood star and former Summerfield and Louisiana Tech standout Cheryl Ford.

Baton Rouge's Seimone Augustus is the other player from the state on the 12-woman squad.

Having two players from the Shreveport-Bossier City area on the U.S. national team might not be quite on par with having two on a Ryder Cup team, but it ain't bad.

And two years from now, Shreveport may have its own Olympian in Beard. Of course, a lot can happen between now and 2008. Beard was one of three late additions to the national team this year. How well she plays her role on this year's team could go a long way toward determining her Olympic future. Then there's the matter of staying healty.

But if she makes it, it won't be as a long shot.

As far as I know, no athlete who grew up and went to high school in Shreveport has ever won Olympic gold. Former Fair Park star Hollis Conway won a silver and a bronze in the high jump, and Olympic sprint champion Evelyn Ashford was born in Shreveport but did not grow up here.
2008 is a long way off, but this is something definitely worth watching.

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