USA Men's Team Announced For FIBA Americas Championship
ï¿½ USA To Open FIBA Americas Championship Wednesday Facing Venezuela --
August 20, 2007 ï¿½ Las Vegas, Nevada
Following six days of training in Las Vegas, Nev., USA Basketball announced its official 12-man roster that will represent the United States in the Aug. 22-Sept. 2 FIBA Americas Championship 2007.
Named to the USA Basketball Senior National Team were Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Chauncey Billups (Detroit Pistons); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New Orleans Hornets); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets); Mike Miller (Memphis Grizzlies); Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons); Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks); Amarï¿½ Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns); and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz).
Duke University Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski is head coach of the USA Senior Team program. Serving as assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Phoenix Suns head mentor Mike Dï¿½Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.
'This is an extremely difficult decision because you have 14 guys worthy of being on the team. Someone says you have to have 12 and you try and figure out who the best 12 would be. With Kevin (Durant), one year in college and 18 years old, heï¿½s made giant progress and heï¿½s going to be one of the faces of the NBA and USA Basketball who will be considered next year because 10 months from now heï¿½s only going to get better. Nick (Collison) wasnï¿½t involved from the very beginning so to be this close to making it after being here for about a week shows what a tremendous job he did. This was an extremely difficult decision because for both kids you can make a case for either one.
'Weï¿½re pleased with the team we have and the thing that makes it difficult is people are playing well. We do have some shooters, so who do you not select? We do have depth at point guard and the physicality of the guard positions hurt us so we tried to respond to that. Thatï¿½s a couple of the reasons why we selected the people we did,' said Kyzyzewski.
'It sounds trite to say it was a tough decision but in all reality it was that and more because all 14 were deserving of being on this roster and unfortunately we didnï¿½t have that luxury, we had to go down to 12,' said USA Senior National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo. 'The two that were not selected were really not selected to be with us the next couple of weeks and thatï¿½s the extent of it because theyï¿½re a part of our team and our team effort.'
'We were a very young team last summer in the World Championship and it was because of injuries to players and some others who were not available and couldnï¿½t participate so weï¿½re much more of a veteran team and I think maturity means a lot in international play. Because of that leadership weï¿½ll have with that maturity I think weï¿½ll have a much better opportunity this go around.' said Colangelo.
The USA team at last summerï¿½s 2006 FIBA World Championship averaged 24.50 years of age. This time around, the USA team, by the end of the tournament, will average 26.16.
'The experience of the team helps us, thereï¿½s no question,' stated Krzyzewski. 'The good teams we play against are not only older individually, theyï¿½re older collectively. Theyï¿½ve grown old together so maybe we can make up for some of that with the selections that we made.
'Weï¿½re healthy, we have great attitudes, and were anxious to play. Weï¿½d like to have more in and have more continuity with the team, but where weï¿½re at (now) is a really good spot,' added Krzyzewski.
The FIBA Americas Championship, featuring 10 menï¿½s national teams, is one of five FIBA Olympic qualifying zone tournaments and will determine the two menï¿½s teams from the Americas zone who will earn a qualification spot for the 2008 Olympic Games that are being held Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, China. Countries competing include 2004 Olympic gold medal champion Argentina, the 2007 Pan America Games champion Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, host United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The USA will open play against Venezuela on Aug. 22 (8 p.m. PDT), followed by games against the U.S. Virgin Islands on Aug. 23 (8 p.m. PDT), Canada on Aug. 25 (12 p.m. PDT) and Brazil on Aug. 26 (3 p.m. PDT).
The FIBA Americas Championship 2007 will be conducted in three phases. The first phase features the 10 teams divided into two groups of five teams each for the first round. The teams will play round robin within their groups over five days, with each team scheduled for one day off during the first round.
After conclusion of the first round and establishing first to fifth places for each group, the top four finishers in each first round group will advance to the second round. Teams finishing in the fifth position will conclude their participation in the tournament. The top four finishing teams of Group A and Group B will then form a single second round group, carrying with them the results obtained in the first phase.
In the second round, each team will play the four advancing teams from the other first round group. At the conclusion of the second round, the top four placed teams will advance to the third phase, and the bottom four teams will conclude their participation in the tournament.
All session tickets for the FIBA Americas Championship 2007, which allow fans to attend every game on a specific day, are priced from $10 to $500 for preliminary round days; $15 to $750 for second round days; $30 to $1,500 for the Sept. 1 semifinals; and $50 to $3,000 for the Sept. 2 gold and bronze medal games. Tickets are available by logging onto UNLVtickets.com, by calling 702-739-FANS (locally) or 1-866-388-FANS (outside Las Vegas), or by visiting the Galleria Mall, and all Station Casinos and Fiestas properties.