NBA D-League Players Called to USA Men's Camp
Forward Moses Ehambe, who averaged 24.7 points per game in helping lead the Iowa Energy to the 2011 NBA D-League Finals title, and 2011 NBA D-League All-Star guard Walker Russell (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) headline a group of players vying for a slot on USA's 12-man roster that will compete in the 2011 Pan American Games on Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The team will be announced before departing for Mexico on Oct. 23.
"I think the overall depth of the 21 guys and the versatility they have to play multiple positions will be a great asset for the team," said Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts, who on July 27 was named by USA Basketball head coach of the USA Men's Pan American Games team. "Also, the wealth of experience these players have had both in the NBA D-League and overseas will be very beneficial. We are looking forward to getting training camp started in Tulsa to see these 21 players compete for roster spots."
Players expected to participate are as follows: Blake Ahearn (Guard, Erie BayHawks); Brian Butch (Center, Injured for 2010-11 season); Chris Daniels (C, KCC Egis, South Korea); Justin Dentmon (G, Texas Legends); Jerome Dyson (G, Tulsa 66ers); Anthony Goods (G, Dakota Wizards); Ron Howard (Forward, Fort Wayne Mad Ants); Marcus Lewis (F, Tulsa 66ers); Leo Lyons (F, Austin Toros); Renaldo Major (F, Dakota Wizards); Anthony Mason, Jr. (G, Sioux Falls Skyforce); Matt Rogers (F/C, Texas Legends); Donald Sloan (G, Reno Bighorns); Gregory Stiemsma (C, Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia); Curtis Sumpter (F, Maroussi BC, Greece); Lance Thomas (F, Austin Toros); Curtis Withers (F, Angeles de Puebla, Mexico); Chris Wright (F, University of Dayton '11); and Luke Zeller (C, Bakersfield Jam).
Ten different NBA Development League teams have players participating in the USA training camp who were members of their 2010-11 roster. The Austin Toros, Dakota Wizards, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Texas Legends and Tulsa 66ers feature two players each, while Bakersfield Jam, Erie BayHawks, Iowa Energy, Reno Bighorns and Sioux Falls Skyforce have one player apiece. Four players played in a foreign professional league in 2010-11, one completed his collegiate career in ’10-’11, while one was injured and did not play during the 2010-11 season.
Seven invitees have prior USA Basketball playing experience: 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 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.