LEXINGTON, KY (5/4/12)—Anthony Davis, who led Kentucky to its eighth NCAA championship, and Oklahoma City Thunder standout guard James Harden, have been added to the list of finalists for the 2012 USA Basketball National Team, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo announced today, May 4th. The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be this young and have a chance to represent my country,” Davis said. “This is a great opportunity and I’m excited to be a part of something like this.”
Davis played and started in all 40 UK games and as a freshman led the Wildcats to a 38-2 record, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season title and the NCAA Championship. The 6-10 forward averaged team highs of 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, while adding 1.3 assists and 1.4 steals. He shot 62.3 percent from the floor and 70.9 percent from the foul line. Named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to the title and averaging 13.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.8 blocks in NCAA Tournament play, the Chicago native recorded 186 blocks which is the most in the history of the SEC and an all-time NCAA mark for freshmen. Davis owns UK freshman records for blocks (186) and rebounds (399) by a Kentucky first-year player. He also tied the UK freshman record for double-doubles (20). He won six National Player of the Year awards including the Adolph Rupp Trophy, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Basketball Times, Associated Press, Wooden and Naismith. In winning the 2012 Naismith Trophy, Davis became just the second freshman to ever capture the award. Additionally, he was selected the 2012 SEC player, freshman and defensive player of the year.
“After a lot of deliberations, after reviewing our roster, we think these two additions strengthen our National Team program immeasurably. James Harden probably is the sixth man of the year in the NBA, and Anthony Davis brings a dimension to our pool we don’t have. He’s young, but it’s exciting to think about the possibilities,” said Colangelo.
Davis has represented USA Basketball previously. As a high school senior he was selected a member of USA Basketball’s Junior National Select Team that competed in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit. Davis finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two block shots in 23 minutes to help the USA to a 92-80 win over the World Select Team.
USA Basketball announced on Jan. 16, 2012, a group of 20 finalists for the 2012 USA National Team from which the 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team would be selected.
Named a finalist for the 2012 USA National Team were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).
Since the finalists announcement, four players have been lost to injuries, Aldridge, Billups, Howard and most recently Rose.
The USA National Team opens its 2012 training with a July 6-12 training camp in Las Vegas, Nev., that concludes with the July 12 (6:00 p.m. local time) USA Basketball Showcase that features the USA facing the Dominican Republic at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
Following the USA’s training and exhibition contest in Las Vegas, the USA will move on to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to train July 13-15 and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16 (8 p.m. local time). The game will be part of a doubleheader with the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which will face Brazil’s Women’s National Team (5:30 p.m. local time).
The USA men will continue their preparations July 17-18 in Manchester, England, and on July 19 (7:30 p.m. local time) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. The USA women will square off against the Great Britain women at the Manchester Arena on July 18 (7:30 p.m. local time).
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBA’s No. 2 and No. 3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBA’s No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi.
For more information on University of Kentucky athletics, click here.
Posted by Luke Short—SurfKY News
Submitted by Assoc. Director of UK Athletic Media Relations, John Hayden
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