Chandler named finalist for Team USA
After battling injuries for the better part of two seasons, newly acquired Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler sought out to prove to the world this summer that he is 100 percent healthy. Wednesday, the 7-foot-1 big man moved one step closer to an international platform to showcase his clean bill of health.
In a teleconference held Wednesday afternoon, the announcement from USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski came down that Chandler had in fact been named one of 15 finalists for the 2010 Men's World Championship team.
Chandler, who competed with the national team in 2007, hopes to be sporting the red, white and blue once again when the FIBA World Championship tips off in Turkey from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12.
"I was pleased with Chandler the last two days...Tyson did a lot for us when we qualified in 2007," Krzyzewski said.
"I've been training since two weeks after the season and getting better and better. I'm healthy now, feeling great," Chandler said. "It's an incredible opportunity. Whenever you can explain to your kids that you played for the USA team, it's a wonderful achievement."
And Chandler certainly appears to be taking full advantage of that opportunity.
Predicted by many to be a shoo-in for the team because of his ability to finish above the rim, rebound and defend in the post, Chandler further cemented his place on the roster with an impressive showing in Team USA's intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday -- hitting on a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor for his 13 points, while also snatching down nine rebounds and rejecting four blocked shots on the defensive end in just over 20 minutes of play.
"He's much stronger than he was in 2007 and I thought he played well," Krzyzewski said. "He does all the things to compliment our perimeter players, so he has a chance to be really important for us."
After making it through the first round of cuts, the athletic center will now join 14 of the NBA's best and brightest when the squad begins training in New York on Aug. 10. The team will then embark on a five-game exhibition tour -- with a game against France (Aug. 15) at Madison Square Garden, a closed scrimmage against China in mid-August, a back-to-back against Lithuania and Spain in Madrid (Aug. 21-22), and a tuneup against Greece in Athens on Aug. 25 before the final 12-man roster must be named just a day later.
"It'll be good to get some competition. A couple of years ago when I did it, it was one of the most exciting moments of my career -- just to be out there with those guys and compete everyday in practice. It will be good because it will be the best of the best out there," the 27-year-old Chandler said.
Here is the full Team USA roster:
Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
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