Former Cal women’s basketball star Layshia Clarendon secures Team USA roster spot

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Junior guard Layshia Clarendon led Cal with 16 points on Sunday. The Bears will face No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday.

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Former Cal women’s basketball star and Connecticut Sun guard Layshia Clarendon made program history this week, becoming the first Cal player to make the senior U.S. Women’s national team after the 12-player roster was revealed Wednesday.

The 2018 World Cup Team will compete in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain, starting Sept. 22.

Alongside Clarendon, the team includes Olympic gold medalists and WNBA stars Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, in addition to 2018 league MVP Breanna Stewart.

Clarendon, who won a gold medal with USA’s 2009 U19 World Cup team in Bangkok, Thailand, will be part of a squad seeking the first three-peat in World Cup history. Team USA won the last two events and has come out on top in four of the last five championships.

The ninth overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft of the Indiana Fever, Clarendon led the Bears to the NCAA Final Four during her senior season. She finished her Cal career averaging 10.5 points per game while shooting 41 percent from the field in 142 games across four seasons.

Sixteen teams in four groups will compete for this year’s championship, and Team USA will play in group D with Senegal, China and Latvia. Group A includes Canada, France, Greece and South Korea; Group B comprises Argentina, Australia, Nigeria and Turkey; and Group C features Belgium, Japan, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Can Sariöz covers women’s basketball. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @can_sarioz.