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15 Finalists Named to U.S. Men's Pan-American Games Team


Erie BayHawks star Blake Ahearn is one of 15 players still in the hunt for a spot on coach Nate Tibbetts' Pan-American Games squad.

Tulsa, Okla. (Oct. 16, 2011) -- Following five training sessions held between Oct. 14-16, 15 NBA Development League players were selected finalists for the 2011 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team. The finalists will continue training in Tulsa through Oct. 22 and the USA's official 12-man USA team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition that is being held Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Selected as a finalists for the U.S. squad were: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State '07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin '08); Chris Daniels (KCC Egis, South Korea/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi '08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington '09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut '10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts '08); Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Valparaiso '06); Marcus Lewis (Tulsa 66ers/Oral Roberts '09); Leo Lyons (Austin Toros/Missouri '09); Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards/ Fresno State '04); Donald Sloan (Reno Bighorns/Texas A&M '10); Gregory Stiemsma (Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia/Wisconsin '09); Curtis Sumpter (Maroussi BC, Greece/Villanova '07): Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke '10); and Luke Zeller (Bakersfield Jam/Notre Dame '09).

"Coming in you never know what kind of shape the guys are going to be in and I thought they were in good shape. The guys competed at a high level and it is tough making cuts, but we felt comfortable getting down to our 15," said USA Pan American Games and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts.

"I think our perimeter is formidable, we've got some guys that can handle the basketball and not just at the one, the two or the three. We're going to have to be a team that guards people on every possession and were asking our bigs to do some things that maybe they haven't been asked to do. So getting that group of bigs to come along defensively is important, but we've got some bigs that can really shoot it and we're excited about that.

"I think we've now got to step up our offensive execution, we've got start putting some more stuff in. We kind of tried to keep it basic here just so we could see guys play. We didn't want to overwhelm them, have them thinking about too many things, and so now we can really start focusing on our prep for Guadalajara," added Tibbetts.