15 Finalists Named For USA Men’s Pan American Games Team
-- Pan American Games Basketball Competition To Be Held October 26-30 --
October 16, 2011 • Tulsa, Okla.
• 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games Roster
• About The 2011 Pan American Games
• 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games Schedule
Following five training sessions held between Oct. 14-16, 15 NBA Development League players were selected finalists for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Team. The finalists will continue training in Tulsa through Oct. 22 and the USA’s official 12-man USA team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition that is being held Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Selected as a finalists for the U.S. squad were: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State ‘07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin ‘08); Chris Daniels (KCC Egis, South Korea/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ‘08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington ‘09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut ‘10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts ‘08); Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Valparaiso ‘06); Marcus Lewis (Tulsa 66ers/Oral Roberts ‘09); Leo Lyons (Austin Toros/Missouri ‘09); Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards/Fresno State ‘04); Donald Sloan (Reno Bighorns/Texas A&M ‘10); Gregory Stiemsma (Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia/Wisconsin ‘09); Curtis Sumpter (Maroussi BC, Greece/Villanova ‘07): Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke ‘10); and Luke Zeller (Bakersfield Jam/Notre Dame ‘09).
“Coming in you never know what kind of shape the guys are going to be in and I thought they were in good shape. The guys competed at a high level and it is tough making cuts, but we felt comfortable getting down to our 15,” said USA Pan American Games and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts.
“I think our perimeter is formidable, we’ve got some guys that can handle the basketball and not just at the one, the two or the three. We’re going to have to be a team that guards people on every possession and were asking our bigs to do some things that maybe they haven’t been asked to do. So getting that group of bigs to come along defensively is important, but we’ve got some bigs that can really shoot it and we’re excited about that.
“I think we’ve now got to step up our offensive execution, we’ve got start putting some more stuff in. We kind of tried to keep it basic here just so we could see guys play. We didn’t want to overwhelm them, have them thinking about too many things, and so now we can really start focusing on our prep for Guadalajara,” added Tibbetts.
Assisting Tibbetts on the USA bench are Tulsa 66ers coaching staff members Jermaine Byrd and Dale Osbourne. Additionally, Austin Toros head coach Brad Jones and Idaho Stampede head coach Randy Livingston are assisting as court coaches during the USA’s training camp.
Training camp for the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team finalists will continue through Oct. 22 at the Tulsa Convention Center. The 12-member USA Men’s Pan American Games Team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition in Mexico.
The Pan American Games, held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, are being held Oct. 13-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The men’s basketball competition, which features eight teams, is being conducted Oct. 26-30.
The USA men were drawn into Group B for the Pan American Games and are joined by national teams from Brazil, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Competing in Group A are Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The U.S. men open preliminary round play Oct. 26 facing Dominican Republic (5:30 p.m. CDT), then face defending Pan American Games champion Brazil on Oct. 27 (8 p.m. CDT), and conclude preliminary play versus Uruguay (5:30 p.m. CDT) on Oct. 28. Semifinals action will be played Oct. 29, and the finals will be contested on Oct. 30.
Training camp for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Team will held Oct. 14-22 at the Tulsa Convention Center. The 12-member USA Men’s Pan American Games Team will be announced before the team departs for the Pan American Games competition in Mexico on Oct. 23.
The player and coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Committee, approved by USA Basketball's Board of Directors and are subject to final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer.
The USA Basketball Pan American Games Committee is chaired by USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford, and also comprised of Tibbetts, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Steve Smith, NBA Development League Vice President of Basketball Operations & Player Personnel Chris Alpert, and NBA Development League consultant Gordon Chiesa.
USA Men In The Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and are a multi-sport competition open to men and women representing countries from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
Comprised of college players, the USA men in the 2007 Pan Ams dropped their first two games and then reeled off three consecutive wins to finish 3-2 and in fifth place. The American men have earned a medal in 12 of their 15 Pan Am Games appearances, including a record eight golds, as well as three silvers and one bronze. The U.S. men currently own an 84-13 (.866 winning percentage) all-time mark at the Pan Am Games.
Held since 1951, the USA dominated the first five Pan Am Games, earning five consecutive golds. At the 1971 Pan Ams, despite a record of 2-1 in the preliminary round, the USA did not advance to the medal round and for the first time in Pan American history did not win the gold medal. However, the United States rebounded for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its last Pan Am gold in 1983. The gold medal has eluded U.S. teams the past six Pan American Games as the Americans have earned three silvers and a bronze medal.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have been selected to a Pan American Games team have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 USA Pan Am basketball players have also been a member of a U.S. Olympic squad, including Ernie Grunfeld, Grant Hill, Luscious Jackson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Chris Mullin, Emeka Okafor, Sam Perkins, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Jo Jo White.
While the list of former Pan American Games players is impressive, the list of head coaches is even more striking. The list of head coaches of USA Pan American Games teams includes Jay Wright (2007), Tom Izzo (2003), Mo McHone (1999); Mike Thibault (1995); Gene Keady (1991); Denny Crum (1987); Jack Hartman (1983); Bob Knight (1979); Marv Harshman (1975); Jim Gudger (1971) Hal Fischer (1967); Garland Pinholster (1963); Fred Schaus (1959); Lt. Norman Pilgrim (1955); and Hal Fischer and John Longfellow (1951).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions. Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championships; FIBA women’s U19 world champions; the men’s and women’s title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championships; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls. For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.
About the NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 23 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, fans could watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at www.nba.com/futurecast.