Damian Lillard Added As Finalist For 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team
USA Men’s National Team member Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) has been added to the roster of finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, USA Basketball announced today. The addition was approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.
Named to the 2014-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team in January 2014, the 6-foot-3 guard was a finalist for the 2014 USA World Cup Team, and played in two exhibition games during the 2014 USA National Team Tour, recording seven points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 24 minutes of action in the USA's 105-62 win against Dominican Republic on Aug. 20, 2014.
Currently in his fourth NBA season, Lillard in 2015-16 is averaging career-highs of 24.2 points (6th in the NBA) and 7.3 assists per game (7th in the NBA), while adding 4.4 rebounds per game, and shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from 3-point and 86.5 percent from the foul line.
“I recently received a call from Damian, and during our conversation he expressed his desire to be considered for the U.S. Olympic Team and to remain involved with the USA National Team in the future as well,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005. “Both Mike (Krzyzewski) and I feel like Damian is playing at a very high level and that he should be added to our list of Olympic finalists. Damian has been a member of the USA National Team since 2014, and he participated in National Team training camps in 2013 and 2014, so he does have equity in USA Basketball, which is always important to me.”
The previously announced 30 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team included: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The 2016 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
2016 Rio Olympic Games
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Twelve nations will compete in the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball competition. Nations qualified for the Olympic competition include the host country, Brazil; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup; Africa zone champ Nigeria; Venezuela (gold medalist) and Argentina (silver medalist) from FIBA Americas; FIBA Asia gold medalist China; Spain (gold medalist) and Lithuania (silver medalist) from FIBA Europe; and FIBA Oceania gold medalist Australia.
FIBA in 2016 will host three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT), from which the remaining three nations will earn a berth to the Olympics. A total of 18 nations, six teams in each tournament, will compete for the right to advance to Rio. Turin, Italy will host one OQT from July 4-10 and the field features Croatia, Greece, Iran, Italy, Mexico, and Tunisia. Belgrade, Serbia, will host the second OQT from July 4-10 and it includes hopefuls Angola, Czech Republic, Latvia, Japan, Puerto Rico and Serbia. The third and final FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be held in Manila, Philippines, July 5-11, and countries competing there include Canada, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Senegal, and Turkey. The gold medalist from each of the three FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will punch its ticket to the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball tournament.
Men’s basketball preliminary play at the ’16 Olympics will be Aug. 6-15, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Aug. 17, semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 21.
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 17 Olympics in which they have competed, including 14 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. The Americans own an impressive 130-5 (.963 winning percentage) all-time record in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United States in 1992, the USA is 45-3 in six Olympics, capturing five gold medals and one bronze medal.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Colangelo, 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 U.S. 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 competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2012-15 compiled a spectacular 151-6 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit, and posted a 92-15 win-loss record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas 3x3 competitions.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s FIBA World Cup and women’s FIBA World Championship; men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s FIBA Americas U18 championships; men’s FIBA Americas U16 Championship; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; and the women’s Youth Olympic Games. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.