Appel added to USA women's basketball team pool

She rejoins former Stanford teammate Candice Wiggins

Stanford grad and two-time All-American center Jayne Appel was one of four players added to the USA Basketball Women's National Team pool, it was announced Wednesday.

Along with Appel, who is in her rookie season with the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, Rebekkah Brunson (Minnesota Lynx), Ebony Hoffman (Indiana Fever) and Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty) were added to the pool from which the 2010 USA World Championship and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams will be selected.

"It's kind of more of a sigh of relief, after having gone to the camps when I wasn't able to play and having to watch on the sidelines," Appel said. "It makes it even more worthwhile. It also helped me want to be a part of it even more and makes me want to be able to contribute more into the future."

Selected members of the USA National Team will meet on Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C. for its final training camp ahead of its departure for Europe to compete at the FIBA World Championship. The U.S. will close its training with three exhibition games at the XL Center in Hartford, taking on defending world champion Australia on Sept. 9 and 10, and then facing Spain on Sept. 11.

Appel has twice been a member of gold medal-winning USA Basketball teams: at the 2006 USA FIBA Americas under-18 Championship team and the 2007 U.S. Pan-American Games squad.

"Any opportunity you have to come out and compete and play at that level is an opportunity that anyone would look forward to," Appel said. "Anything that coach (Gino) Auriemma wants me to do, I'll do it."

Appel was among the invitees to the USA Senior Women's National Team's spring training camp, but could participate because of a stress fracture in her foot that she suffered during the NCAA Tournament.

"Certainly one of the positions that we are trying to shore up is in the post," Auriemma said. "With Candace Parker not being available because of her operation, these four additions give us a lot of options to choose from. I'm anxious to see how they fit in. And depending on who's available because of the (WNBA) playoffs, I think it's important to have as many options as possible."

Stanford grad Candice Wiggins is among the 19 others who were named to the team previously.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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