Friday, July 24, 2009

USA Basketball is back preparing for a tournament in August after winning the 2008 Olympics

By Anthony Caruso III

After a long NBA season, team USA is back back on the floor together again. USA Basketball just started mini-camp on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada. The last time a USA Basketball team was together was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when they won a gold medal.

However, this USA Basketball is different than that star-studded team, lead by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, among others. Mike Krzyzewski will not be coaching this team, nor will Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan, or Jim Boeheim. They all coached the Senior National Team from last summer.

This summer, the USA Basketball Select Team will be coached by Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano. Triano has dual citizenship in Canada and the USA, which allows him to coach the USA team. Triano will be assisted by Tyrone Corbin, Dave Cowens, Kenny Gattison, and Jerry Sichting.

This Select Team has a mixture of veteran leadership and rookies. Danny Granger, André Iguodala, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Josh Smith, and Davis Lee will provide the veteran leadership. The rookies include Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, O. J. Mayo, Eric Gordon, Brook López, Kevin Love, and Anthony Randolph. Other players are D. J. Augustin, Ronnie Brewer, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Jeff Green, JaVale McGee, Greg Oden, and Thaddeus Young. However, all these players will not make the final cut.

Blake Griffin was supposed to be among this group of players. However, he has an injury and will not take part in these festivities. He suffered a shoulder injury while playing in the summer league and will likely not play again until training camp. He is out 3-5 weeks with his injury.

On Saturday, July 25th, this Select Team will have an intra-squad game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada as they prepare for the tournament. From August 26th to September 6th, Team USA will be participating in the FIBA Americas World Championship Qualifying Tournament. This tournament will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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