The Team USA Women's Basketball squad dominated their eight games in the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning by an average margin of 37.2 points.
In their 49th consecutive win in international competition, they defeated Spain, cruising to a 101-72 victory for their sixth consecutive Gold Medal.
“We’re doing something, and basketball is really important to a lot of people in the U.S., and no one takes it more serious than women," said Diana Taurasi, who scored 17 points in the Gold Medal game, including five three-pointers. We play year round. We sacrifice a lot of things to make sure that we bring this home. And you know what? It’s OK. We’re happy.”
Lindsay Whalen also scored a team-high 17 points, while forward Maya Moore had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The next edition of the squad that appears in the Tokyo Olympics could look much different than this splendid collection that we witnessed in Rio. There's a chance that Taurasi, who has blessed the global stage with her remarkable ability over the last 16 years, along with her teammates Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings, will step away from the national team and pass the baton to the next crop of exceptional players coming up behind them.
"I idolized her so much growing up," said Elena Delle Donne, the reigning WNBA MVP who came off the bench throughout the Games and had 10 points against Spain, said in reference to Taurasi. "And to be able to play alongside her and see some of that craziness that I saw when I was a young kid falling in love with the game, was really cool for me."
And even if the old guard steps aside, fear not. The talent pool for Team USA's women is deeper than it's ever been.
"I keep talking to ‘E’ (Delle Donne) about how we’ve got to do what ‘D’ (Taurasi) and Sue did – that could be us, with Stewie (21-year-old forward Brianna Stewart) as well," said 25-year-old center Brittney Griner. "That could be us. … We’re still young. We’re still learning. We just got our diapers off."
That's a scary thought for the rest of the world, and a wonderful one for fans of the real Dream Team, the USA Women.