21 NBA Development League Players To Vie For Spots On 12-Man USA Pan American Games Roster
BAKERSFIELD, October 4, 2011 Ė Twenty-one players under contract to play in the NBA Development League in 2011-12, including seven with previous USA Basketball experience, have accepted invitations to participate in the Oct. 14-22 USA Pan American Games Team training camp. The training camp will be utilized to select the USAís 12-man roster that will compete in the 2011 Pan American Games that are being held from Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Expected to attend the USA Pan American Games Team training camp are: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State Ď07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin Ď08); Chris Daniels (KCC Egis, South Korea/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Ď08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington Ď09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut Ď10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts Ď08); Anthony Goods (Dakota Wizards/Stanford Ď09); Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Valparaiso Ď06); Marcus Lewis (Tulsa 66ers/Oral Roberts Ď09); Leo Lyons (Austin Toros/Missouri Ď09); Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards/Fresno State Ď04); Anthony Mason, Jr. (Sioux Falls Skyforce/St. Johns Ď10); Matt Rogers (Texas Legends/Southwest Baptist Ď10); Walker Russell (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Jacksonville State Ď06); Donald Sloan (Reno Bighorns/Texas A&M Ď10); Gregory Stiemsma (Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia/Wisconsin Ď09); Curtis Sumpter (Maroussi BC, Greece/Villanova Ď07); Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke Ď10); Curtis Withers (Angeles de Puebla, Mexico/Charlotte Ď06); Chris Wright (Dayton Ď11); and Luke Zeller (Bakersfield Jam/Notre Dame Ď09).
Butch appeared in 39 games, 38 starts, for Bakersfield during the 2009-10 season, averaging 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds (second in the NBA D-League) and 1.7 assists in 33.9 minutes. The 2010 NBA D-League All-Star Most Valuable Player, Butch received a GATORADE Call-Up to the Denver Nuggets on April 11, 2010. A four-year contributor at Wisconsin, Butch averaged 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 36 games during his senior season. In 2007, he was named All-Big 10 Honorable Mention for his efforts.
Zeller appeared in 49 games, 36 starts, for Bakersfield during the 2010-11 season, averaging 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.7 minutes. Luke Zeller, a High School McDonald's All American in 2005, played for four years at Notre Dame. During his senior season, he averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest. After college, Luke participated in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, playing for the Chicago Bulls. Prior to coming to the Jam, Zeller played for the Shiga Lakestars in Japan, where he collected 8.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Boasting of prior USA Basketball playing experience are seven invitees: Butch (2007 USA Pan American Games Trials and 2002 Youth Development Festival North Team); Goods (2004 Youth Development Festival West Team); Sumpter (2004 USA U20 Championship Team); Thomas (2006 USA U16 Championship Team and 2005 Youth Development Festival Blue Team); Withers (2005 USA U21 World Championship Team and 2004 USA U20 Championship Team); Wright (2010 USA Select Team); and Zeller (2004 Youth Development Festival North Team).
The Pan American Games, held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, are being held Oct. 13-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The menís basketball competition, which features eight teams, is being conducted Oct. 26-30.
The USA men were drawn into Group B for the Pan American Games and are joined by national teams from Brazil, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Competing in Group A are Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The U.S. men open preliminary round play Oct. 26 facing Dominican Republic (5:30 p.m. CDT), then face defending Pan American Games champion Brazil on Oct. 27 (8 p.m. CDT), and conclude preliminary play versus Uruguay (5:30 p.m. CDT) on Oct. 28. Semifinals action will be played Oct. 29, and the finals will be contested on Oct. 30.
Training camp for the 2011 USA Basketball Menís Pan American Games Team will held Oct. 14-22 at the Tulsa Convention Center (Okla.). The 12-member USA Menís Pan American Games Team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition in Mexico.
The player and coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Menís Pan American Games Committee, approved by USA Basketball's Board of Directors and are subject to final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer.
The USA Basketball Pan American Games Committee is chaired by USA Basketball Menís National Team Director Sean Ford, and also comprised of Tibbetts, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Steve Smith, NBA Development League Vice President of Basketball Operations & Player Personnel Chris Alpert, and NBA Development League consultant Gordon Chiesa.
USA Men In The Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and are a multi-sport competition open to men and women representing countries from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
Comprised of college players, the USA men in the 2007 Pan Ams dropped their first two games and then reeled off three consecutive wins to finish 3-2 and in fifth place. The American men have earned a medal in 12 of their 15 Pan Am Games appearances, including a record eight golds, as well as three silvers and one bronze. The U.S. men currently own an 84-13 (.866 winning percentage) all-time mark at the Pan Am Games.
Held since 1951, the USA dominated the first five Pan Am Games, earning five consecutive golds. 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 history did not win the gold medal. However, the United States rebounded for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its last Pan Am gold in 1983. The gold medal has eluded U.S. teams the past six Pan American Games as the Americans have earned three silvers and a bronze medal.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have been selected to a Pan American Games team have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 USA Pan Am basketball players have also 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.
While the list of former Pan American Games players is impressive, the list of head coaches is even more striking. The list of head coaches of USA Pan American Games teams includes Jay Wright (2007), Tom Izzo (2003), Mo McHone (1999); Mike Thibault (1995); Gene Keady (1991); Denny Crum (1987); Jack Hartman (1983); Bob Knight (1979); Marv Harshman (1975); Jim Gudger (1971) Hal Fischer (1967); Garland Pinholster (1963); Fred Schaus (1959); Lt. Norman Pilgrim (1955); and Hal Fischer and John Longfellow (1951).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball 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 United States 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 basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball menís and womenís teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current menís and womenís champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championships; FIBA womenís U19 world champions; the menís and womenís title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championships; and the menís and womenís U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.