COLORADO SPRINGS (Olympics) - They say patience is a virtue.
Asjha Jones, therefore, has had to be one of the most virtuous women in basketball while watching former college teammates and fellow WNBA stars go to Olympic Games and play for the United States.
Good things come to those who wait, and continue to work hard, because at long last, the 31-year-old power forward has been selected to play for the United States Olympic team this summer.
USA Basketball, having announced during the recent EuroLeague Women Final Eight the names of 11 players confirmed in the London Games squad, opted for the 1.91m Jones to fill the 12th spot.
A member of the USA's gold medal-winning side at the FIBA World Championship two years ago in the Czech Republic, Jones will now compete in her first Summer Games.
In a USA Basketball news release, Jones said of hearing the news: “It was kind of like I was in disbelief and shock.
“I kind of put the Olympics out of my head because I didn’t think I was going to be on the team.
"First I was surprised that Carol (Callan) was even calling me.
"Then when I answered and she told me the news, I was very surprised, very shocked.
"I was really, really honored to be picked up.”
Jones played for USA coach Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut, so he knows exactly the sort of person and athlete he will have in Britain.
“I think it’s well deserved," Auriemma said.
"She adds an awful lot of maturity, experience and talent to this team.
"Some of the teams that we’re going to have to beat in the Olympics, the best teams are really the ones who have the most experienced post players.
"Asjha has proven herself both in the WNBA and overseas to be able to defend anybody and to be able to score.
"She’s got experience."
Jones clearly helped her cause while playing for Rivas Ecopolis in Spain's Liga Femenina and the EuroLeague.
At the Final Eight in Istanbul, Rivas were big outsiders yet Jones led them into the title game where they took on Ros Casares.
Rivas were in front for much of that game but eventually lost, yet Jones had been so good that she earned the honor as the event's MVP.
Callan, the USA Basketball women's national team director, a member of the selection committee, admitted that assembling this year's Olympic squad tough.
“As always, this decision was very difficult due to the breadth and quality of the USA national team pool,” Callan said.
“Asjha has shown her abilities throughout the EuroLeague season, culminating in earning MVP honors at the Final Eight.
"Her abilities and leadership as a veteran of international basketball and over the last several years with our USA national team program makes her a great choice for this final spot.
"Her experience pushed her forward in terms of selecting the final roster spot.”
Candice Dupree was a strong candidate.
She played on the USA side that won the world title but has missed out.
Jayne Appel was also in that American side that won the gold medal in the Czech Republic.
Another strong candidate had been Brittney Griner, the player of the year in American college basketball for national champions Baylor.
The center withdrew from consideration last week, citing a personal family issue and the desire to attend summer school.
Six of the 12 players in the American squad competed at the University of Connecticut under Auriemma.
Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Fowles, Parker and Taurasi were in the USA squad that won the title in Beijing.
USA Women's Olympic Team: Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Asjha Jones, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen.