The USA men’s basketball team is looking for back-to-back Olympic gold medals later this summer in the 2012 London Olympics. Coach K has led the transformation of the team of the past of me first superstars to players committed to the country’s name on the front.
On Saturday, the 12 members of the Olympic team were named. They are a young, athletic bunch, with just one pure center (Tyson Chandler). Their average age is around 26 years old.
There are two newbies to the international competition: James Harden and Blake Griffin. Five members return from the 2008 gold medal winning team from the Beijing Olympics: Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams. The other five were a part of the gold medal winning World Championship team of 2010: Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Chandler.
Here is what Coach K said about the selection of his team:
“We have benefited so much from having a pool of outstanding players who are committed, and as a result the selection is difficult. But it’s the best challenge that you could have because everyone has been so committed,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “The guys who were not selected are in our pool, and if someone did get hurt, they are already part of our team and could be seamlessly woven in at a later date. We really appreciate the commitment of all of these guys.”
The US National Team continues their training in Las Vegas until July 12th, when they will play an exhibition game against the Dominian Republic at UNLV. They then move to Washington DC from July 13-15 and play Brazil in an exhibition game on July 16th (with the women’s team playing prior).
Next, it’s off to Manchester, England from July 17-19. On the 19th, the men will face Great Britain (the women’s team faces Great Britain on the 18th). The men then move to Barcelona, Spain to face the second and third ranked teams. They will face Argentina (number 3) on July 22nd and then Spain (number 2) on July 24th to conclude their exhibition tour.
The US team then moves to London on July 27th to begin their Olympic quest for gold.
Here is their schedule once they arrive in London: