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Stoudemire Psyched to Shine

By Rob Peterson

July 28 -- Along with Tim Duncan, Carlos Boozer and Emeka Okafor, Suns forward Amare Stoudemire will be anchoring the middle for the U.S. in Athens. So how excited is he to be playing in the Olympics? NBA.com talked to the rising star about representing his country this summer.

Are you excited?
Stoudemire: "Very excited. Very excited."

Fortunate Suns: Stoudemire (R) and Phoenix teammate Shawn Marion are off to Athens.
(Terence Vaccaro/NBAE)
What are your expectations for your first Olympics experience?
Stoudemire: "Bringing home a gold is the first one. But going out there and being in a different environment and being able to see the whole world at a very young age. That's a great accomplishment for me. I'd like to go out there and have fun, enjoy the thing, take heed and study things overseas. That's what I'm going for."

Did you ever think about making an Olympic team?
Stoudemire: "I thought about it. It was one of my goals as a teenager, watching the Dream Team and Dream Team II in high school. I think we're the youngest Dream Team, so we're going to bring the gold back, like the original dream team. So, it's going to be a great experience for us."

Do you have any memories from those Olympics that you watched?
Stoudemire: "I just remember when Jordan and Barkley (stood out in 1992). That was fun to watch. When Vince Carter jumped over that seven-footer (France's Frederic Weis), that was amazing. It was one of the greatest dunks I've ever seen."

Do you think you have a legacy to uphold?
Stoudemire: "Not necessarily, but we do have a reputation of USA Basketball having the best athletes. We have to stand up to that reputation and show people that the USA has the best athletes."