The U.S. women’s national team was in the crowd for two women’s NCAA tournament Elite Eight games on Tuesday night — in cutout form.
The NCAA announced earlier this month that fans can purchase photo cutouts to be placed in San Antonio’s Alamodome for the games, with all proceeds going to three charities: the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the San Antonio Food Bank.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the USWNTs trip to Europe for two friendly matches this weekend, the team decided to show support for women’s college hoops by purchasing crowd cutouts for the entire roster.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) March 30, 2021
“We have an amazingly passionate fan base that is very supportive of our team and players,” Aaron Heifetz, spokesperson for the USWNT told ESPN. “This seemed like a great way to perhaps help introduce our fans to some other amazing female athletes and role models.”
There are 23 players on the roster for the Europe trip, and each cutout costs $100.
“Also, it’s just plain entertaining to see the heads of all our players sitting in the stands ‘watching’ the games,” Heifetz said. “[H]ow fun is this women’s tourney? Just honored to be a very, very small part of it.”
Seven USWNT players, including forward Christen Press, are Stanford alumni, which ended up being a good omen for the 1-seed Cardinal as they beat 2-seed Louisville 78-63. Heifetz notes that star Megan Rapinoe remains “obviously all-in on the tournament and the UConn Huskies,” as her fiancee is UConn alum and WNBA star Sue Bird.
The women’s Final Four is Friday, starting with 1-seeds South Carolina and Stanford at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by 3-seed Arizona against 1-seed UConn at 9 p.m. ET, also on ESPN.
All 23 cutouts will be there, too.
The USWNT will next play on April 10 against Sweden. Their April 13 friendly against France in Le Harve will air at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.