Selected as a finalists for the USA team were: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State ‘07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin ‘08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington ‘09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut ‘10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts ‘08); 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); and Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke ‘10).
“Obviously this is a tough selection just because guys have competed at such a high level. They’re doing what we’ve asked, they’re all good guys, but we can only take 12. At the same time you’ve got to get 12 so we can relax, catch our breath, guys don’t have to press now, this is our team and we can really focus on competing in the Pan Ams,” said USA Pan American Games and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts.
“I think what excites me about this team is our commitment to defense, our guys have really bought into that. And then we’ve got some guards that can really push it and we’ve got some bigs that are really, really playing hard and are game changers just with their effort.”
Assisting Tibbetts on the USA bench are Tulsa 66ers coaching staff members Jermaine Byrd and Dale Osbourne. Additionally, Austin Toros head coach Brad Jones and Idaho Stampede head coach Randy Livingston are assisting as court coaches during the USA’s training camp.
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 men’s 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.