COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne and Nneka Ogwumike have all won a WNBA MVP award, and Angel McCoughtry has often been in the running.
But imagine these elite basketball players in a completely different sport. With the USA Basketball women's national team training camp coinciding with the start of the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea this past weekend, we asked several of the hoops stars which Winter Olympics event they'd most like to do (hypothetically, of course, since their WNBA contracts would ban such potentially dangerous activities).
"I've thought about this: I would love to be a bobsledder," said Delle Donne, Washington's 6-foot-5 forward/guard. "I don't know if I'd fit in the sled. But I want to drive, definitely."
That's fortunate, because the other players who picked bobsled would all strongly prefer not to be the sled's pilot.
"It's like getting on the train in New York," 6-4 Liberty center Charles said. "I never get on the front car or the back car. I like being in the middle."
"I would love to be a bobsledder. I don't know if I'd fit in the sled. But I want to drive, definitely."Elena Delle Donne
Same for Atlanta's 6-1 forward/guard McCoughtry. She, like Los Angeles' 6-2 forward Ogwumike, said she's inspired by the Nigerian women's bobsled team.
But somebody has to be in back and apply the brake when the sled crosses the finish line.
"I'm a team player," Ogwumike said. "I just want to push and jump in."
Technically, the Winter Olympic events are two-man sled, two-woman sled and a four-person sled that has basically always been men. But Delle Donne-Charles-McCoughtry-Ogwumike would make a pretty awesome imaginary four-woman bobsled team.
No players at the camp selected either of the other sledding events, skeleton or luge. "Luge looks like a little too much for me," Atlanta's Layshia Clarendon said.
But consider what the Dream point guard did pick.
"What about the one where they fly? Ski jumping? I'd do that," Clarendon said. "I have no idea how any of these sports work, though. I guess it would hurt if you landed wrong. But the flying part would be fun."
"I would love to get on the skates and hit people."Diana Taurasi, with a laugh, on wanting to play ice hockey
Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum might join Clarendon on the big hill.
"I don't know if I'd really do it, but ski jumping looks so cool," Plum said. "I would not be good at it, but those athletes are amazing to watch."
Snowboarding was another popular pick, selected by Minnesota forward Maya Moore, Atlanta post player Elizabeth Williams, Los Angeles guard Chelsea Gray and, of course, Phoenix center Brittney Griner, who had a few "adventures" riding her longboard around campus while at Baylor. (One of them ended in a broken wrist in 2012.)
"For me, it would be snowboard, no question, the halfpipe and big air," Griner said, referencing two of the five snowboard events at these Winter Games. "I have not been snowboarding ... yet. I've done everything else: skateboard, longboard, wakeboard. I haven't surfed or done snowboard. And I don't swim, so I probably won't surf."
One Winter Olympics event that the hoops players might be allowed to try -- it seems the least dangerous -- was the choice of former rivals at Notre Dame and UConn. They both picked it for the same reason: the strategy involved.
"Curling," Dallas' Skylar Diggins-Smith said. "There is something cerebral about it. There's more to it than athleticism, and that intrigues me."
She wants to be the one who delivers the stone down its icy path toward what is known as "the house."
"Oh, of course," Diggins-Smith said. "I'm a point guard."
So who would sweep for her? Chicago center Stefanie Dolson.
"I want to be the brusher," Dolson said. "That's perfect; we should try it out! I used to play on the Wii. I was good at that."
Diggins-Smith and Dolson also had the same second choice: figure skating.
"Because it's like dancing," Dolson said. Diggins-Smith added, "It's super, super athletic, but also graceful at the same time. And I'm not very graceful, but I like to do the dance stuff."
The two most decorated players at the camp -- four-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi -- also independently picked the same event: hockey. That figures, though, for the longtime friends and sometime teammates who've known each other for nearly 20 years.
And Bird can ice-skate.
"You know how kids used to always go to the mall? We'd go skate," the Seattle guard said. "I loved that growing up."
Both Bird and Taurasi said they don't really know much about hockey, but ...
"I would love to get on the skates and hit people," Phoenix guard Taurasi said, grinning.
Body-checking isn't allowed in women's hockey, but since this is all hypothetical, maybe we'll change the rules for Taurasi. Bird, by contrast, wants nothing to do with the hitting part.
"But I seem to do well at avoiding that in basketball," Bird said, "so maybe I could avoid it in hockey, too."