COLORADO SPRINGS (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Some of the greatest players ever to run onto the hardwood have worn the United States jersey at the FIBA World Championships for Women.
The event has been held 16 times dating back to 1953 and the USA have captured the crown eight times, including in 2010 when the competition was staged in the Czech Republic.
USA Basketball is gunning for a ninth title next year in Turkey.
Thirty-three players looking to stake a claim to a spot in the 2014World Championship squad have been invited to a mini-camp this weekend in Las Vegas.
Several invitees have captured at least one Olympic or World title: they are Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Cappie Pondexter, Jayne Appel and Candice Dupree.
The top three picks in this year's WNBA Draft - Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky) and Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock) - will be at the mini-camp and hoping to build on solid rookie seasons in the WNBA.
Bria Hartley, Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson - standout players for the University of Connecticut where USA women's boss Geno Auriemma is the long-time coach - are among the 33, along with DeWanna Bonner, Lindsey Harding, Briann January, Glory Johnson, Jantel Lavender, Kayla McBride, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Danielle Robinson, Odyssey Sims, Alyssa Thomas, Courtney Vandersloot, Monica Wright and Sophia Young.
Minnesota Lynx stars Augustus, Moore, Whalen and Wright, and Atlanta Dream veteran McCoughtry won't be able to attend the mini-camp as they are competing in the WNBA Finals, with Game 1 on Sunday.
"The (selection) committee did a great job of identifying players for this camp," said Auriemma.
"First, you have some who have helped us already win world championships and gold medals at the Olympics and those who certainly we need to take a look at to prepare for the future. Ideally you would love to have a team that is comprised of enough veteran leadership, enough young players with experience and enough young players who might be there for the first time. Within this group we have a mixture of all of those.
"I think what the committee did, which I think is interesting, there are a lot of young WNBA players who are on the list, and with an eye toward the future there are players who have excelled at the college level already and who have also excelled at USA Basketball at a young age, who three years from now, four years from now, are going to be WNBA players."
There is no brighter talent than Stewart, who helped fire Auriemma's UConn to the NCAA title earlier this year.
This summer, she averaged a team-high 16.9 points per game for the USA as they won the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania.
Stewart, Hartley and Dolson all played for the USA side that won the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Chile while two years before that, Diggins and Ogwumike were leading players in the American squad that finished top of the podium at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Thailand.
Lavender and Moore were in the United States' title-winning team at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Bratislava.
Moore has already won a World title in 2010 and Olympic gold in 2012.
"So, it’s great to get a head start to see where the future really lies," Auriemma said.
"I think that’s one thing USA Basketball has always been great at, preparing for the future. This is another great example of that.”