22 Players Confirmed For U.S. Pan American Games Team Training Camp
Including a mix of 16 current collegians, five players who have most recently played professionally overseas, and one player who played in the NBA in 2014-15, USA Basketball today announced 22 players have accepted invitations to take part in the 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team training camp that will be used to select the 12 players who will represent the United States at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.
Athletes expected to attend the U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team training camp include Ron Baker (Wichita State/Scott City, Kan.); Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia/Atlanta, Ga.); Bobby Brown (Dongguan Leopards, China/Los Angeles, Calif.); Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma/Mount Vernon, N.Y.); Micah Downs (Avtodor Saratov, Russia/Bothell, Wash.); Kellen Dunham (Butler/Pendleton, Ind.); Rico Gathers (Baylor/LaPlace, La.); Issac Haas (Purdue/Hokes Bluff, Ala.); Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin/Toledo, Ohio); Malcolm Hill (Illinois/Fairview Heights, Ill.); Ryan Hollins (Sacramento Kings/Pasadena, Calif.); Keith Langford (UNICS Kazan, Russia/Fort Worth, Texas); Shawn Long (Louisiana/Morgan City, La.); Monte’ Morris (Iowa State/Flint, Mich.); Taurean Prince (Baylor/San Antonio, Texas); Anthony Randolph (Lokomotiv-Kuban, Russia/Pasadena, Calif.); Joshua Scott (Colorado/Monument, Colo.); Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona/Claremont, N.H.); Romelo Trimble (Maryland/Upper Marlboro, Md.); Denzel Valentine (Michigan State/Lansing, Mich.); Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State/Rockford, Ill.); and Damien Wilkins (Indios de Mayagüez, Puerto Rico/Orlando, Fla.).
Mark Few of Gonzaga University will serve as head coach of the 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team, and University of Colorado’s Tad Boyle and longtime NBA coach Mike Brown were selected as assistant coaches. The training camp will also feature a trio of court coaches, including Jason Flanigan (Holmes Community College), Ron Hunter (Georgia State) and Mark Turgeon (Maryland).
“Coach Few and his staff are going to have a very competitive training camp before we decide on the Pan America Games roster for USA Basketball,” said Syracuse University head mentor Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee that is responsible for player and coach selections. “There is a tremendous collection of talented players with varying skill sets who will be trying out. There’s no question the ones who ultimately make the team will form a team capable of challenging for the gold medal.”
The USA training camp will be held July 7-12 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. team will train July 13-16 at the Chicago Bulls practice facility.
The 2015 Pan American Games men’s basketball competition will take place July 21-25 in Toronto, Canada. The U.S. men have been placed into Group A and will play all three of its preliminary round games at 9 p.m. EDT, including Venezuela on July 21, Puerto Rico on July 22 and Brazil on July 23. Competing in Group B will be Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico.
The top two teams from each preliminary-round group will advance to the medal-round semifinals on July 24, while the third and fourth-placed teams will play for fifth-eighth places. The semifinal winners will compete for the gold medal on July 25, and the semifinal losers will play for bronze.
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Basketball players and coaching staff, which is approved by the United States Olympic Committee.
In addition to Boeheim, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee also includes NCAA appointees: Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt Painter (Purdue) and Lorenzo Romar (Washington); and athlete representative Curtis Sumpter, who won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2004 FIBA Americas U20 Championship and a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.
Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event featuring teams from North, South and Central American and the Caribbean, which are organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and played every four years in the year preceding the Olympics (2015, 2019, etc.).
Beginning with the first Pan American Games men’s basketball competition in 1951, the USA dominated the first five events, earning five consecutive gold medals. 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 Games history, did not win the gold medal. The United States rebounded, however, for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its most recent Pan Am gold in 1983. Overall, the Americans have compiled an 87-15 record and captured eight gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals.
In 2011, the USA team, comprised of players and coaches from the NBA Development League, fought to a well-earned 94-92 bronze medal victory over the Dominican Republic in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have played in a Pan American Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 Pan Am athletes have 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.