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USA Defeats Belgium 84-75 in Cheryl Reeve’s Debut as Head Coach

The legendary Minnesota Lynx head coach gets her first win after taking over as USA Basketball head coach in December.

USA Basketball /@usabasketball, Twitter

After 61 games as an assistant coach for USA Basketball, tallying a 38-0 record in official FIBA competition and 57-4 record overall, Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve walked out of the tunnel in our Nation’s capital representing the red, white and blue, but this team as the leader of the sport’s greatest dynasty.

“I am incredibly humbled and excited to be named head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team,” she said during an introductory press conference at Target Center on December 8. “I have enjoyed an incredible journey with USA Basketball since joining in 2014 and look forward to what lies ahead as we seek more gold for the USA.”

Tonight, her team embarked on that journey for more gold in Washington, D.C. against Belgium in the 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament. Reeve, a five-time gold medalist across Olympic, World Cup, and AmeriCup competition, is in search of her sixth gold medal as a USA Basketball coach in the 2022 FIBA World Cup.

Team USA has already qualified for the event — which takes place in Sydney, Australia in late September — because they won Olympic Gold in Tokyo this past summer, a championship in which Reeve played a key role as an assistant coach alongside Lynx players Napheesa Collier (left) and Sylvia Folwes (right).

2020 Tokyo Olympics: USA v Japan Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Now without Collier (pregnancy) and Fowles (retirement from USA Basketball), Reeve is not alone in her USA threads.

Lynx guard Kayla McBride took the court tonight wearing USA across her chest in official competition for the first time in 12 years, when she was a starter on the 2010 USA U18 National Team that won gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, prior to starring at Notre Dame.

“This is a good opportunity,” McBride said in an interview with USA Basketball this week. “I’m just trying to give everything I have. I’m 29 and I haven’t been on one of these teams for a while, since I was 18. I’ve been in the pool for a long time, and I think I have a really good shot to impact this team and be a vital part of it.”

In her return, McBride scored six points on 3/5 shooting to go with five rebounds, an assist and a block. Naturally, McBuckets — like the winner she is — was a team-high +15 in 19 minutes.

USA Basketball / @usabasketball Twitter

Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum led the way for Team USA with 16 points on 5/5 shooting, three assists, and zero turnovers in 16 minutes of play.

Next up for Reeve, McBride and USA Basketball is a qualifier matchup with Puerto Rico tomorrow at 3:30 PM CT. You can stream it live on YouTube here.