Harden & Howard Named to 2014-16 Team USA Roster
Highlighted by 14 players who were members of the gold medalist 2012 U.S. Olympic and/or the 2010 USA World Championship teams, USA Basketball announced today 28 players have been selected for the 2014-2016 USA Men’s National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected.
Among the elite pool of players chosen were Houston Rockets James Harden and Dwight Howard. Harden, who won a gold medal as a member of Team USA's 2012 Olympic team, discussed what it means to him to have another opportunity to represent his country on the world stage.
"It means a lot," he said. It's probably the best part of my basketball career is being able to represent my country at the highest level. The gold medal run was amazing just to be around all those guys, so to get a chance to compete for another world championship is unreal."
The USA National Team pool will be fluid; USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo may add athletes at any time.
Featuring 11 players from the golden 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, the 2014-16 USA National Team roster includes a total of 12 Olympians who have captured a combined 16 gold medals and two bronze medals, and seven members return from the USA Basketball team that captured the 2010 World Championship.
“This is the first step of building the USA Basketball National Team pool of players for 2014-16. This roster is extremely talented, deep and versatile,” said Colangelo. “We are very fortunate to have 11 of the 12 members who won gold at the London Olympics wanting to be part of the national team program again. To receive that kind of commitment is remarkable and it demonstrates how much it means to our players to represent USA Basketball and their country.
“Continuity and familiarity with international basketball are critical parts in our success, and between our coaching staff and these 28 players we certainly have that. Every one of the selected players has been involved in USA Basketball previously and that speaks to how well our pipeline is working. Because of injuries and circumstances that will develop where players won’t be able to participate, we know we need flexibility with the roster and as we did in 2006-08 and 2010-12, the pool of players will be fluid, so you will see the addition of players as they emerge and as they are needed,” continued Colangelo.
“Our first challenge will be the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup that is being held in Spain. With 24 teams competing for the world title, including host Spain who we have had memorable games against in the last two Olympic gold medal games, we know it will be a challenge to repeat as world champions. In the history of the FIBA World Championships/World Cup, only Brazil (1959 and 1963) and Yugoslavia (1998 and 2002) have won back-to-back titles, so repeating will not be easy and is a challenge we look forward to.”
Returning to the USA National Team for 2014-16 are three-time Olympic medalists and two-time Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and LeBron James (Miami Heat); two-time Olympic gold medalists Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets); 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Kevin Durant(Oklahoma City Thunder); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); 2008 Olympic gold medalist; Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets), as well as Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), who was originally named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team roster but was unable to participate because of an injury.
Returning to national team roster after capturing gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship are Chandler,Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Durant, Iguodala, Love, Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), and Westbrook.
Completing the USA National Team roster are NBA standouts LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers);Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz);Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); David Lee (Golden State Warriors); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
The 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA head coach and Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University veteran coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
All 28 selected players possess prior USA Basketball experience. Ten players (Beal, Cousins, Davis, Drummond, Faried, George, Hayward, Irving, Lillard and Thompson) participated this past July in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National team mini-camp, while six of the named players (Cousins, George, Hayward, Irving, Leonard, and Thompson) were part of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained against the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
A smaller group of U.S. National Team members will be selected to participate in the 2014 USA National Team’s opening training camp in July. Exact training dates and locations for the USA National Team training in 2014 will be announced at a later date.
2014-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Notes:
- The 28 NBA players represent 20 NBA teams, with the Golden State Warriors featuring four players (Curry, Iguodala, Lee and Thompson), while teams featuring a pair of players include the Houston Rockets (Harden and Howard), Los Angeles Clippers (Griffin and Paul), New York Knicks (Anthony and Chandler), Oklahoma City Thunder (Durant and Westbrook) and Portland Trail Blazers (Aldridge and Lillard).
- Eleven players were members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal team (Anthony, Chandler, Davis, Durant, Harden, Iguodala, James, Love, Paul, Westbrook and Williams).
- Seven players were members of the 2010 USA World Championship team that finished first (Chandler, Curry, Durant, Iguodala, Love, Rose Westbrook).
- Five players collected gold at the 2008 Olympics (Anthony, Howard, James, Paul, and Williams).
- Four players earned bronze at the 2006 World Championship (Anthony, Howard, James and Paul).
- Two were members of the bronze medalist 2004 U.S. Olympic Team (Anthony and James).
- Ten players attended the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp (Beal, Cousins, Davis, Drummond, Faried, George, Hayward, Irving, Lillard, and Thompson).
- Six players were part of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained against the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team (Cousins, George, Hayward, Irving, Leonard, and Thompson).
- Of the 28 players, 25 attended at least one year of college before entering the NBA, three (Chandler, Howard and James) went directly from high school to the NBA.
- The 2014-16 USA National Team roster includes the NBA’s top 11 scorers (as of Jan 22, 2014) and 14 of the top 17; seven of the league’s top 11 rebounders; the top two leaders in assists; six of the top 13 in steals; four of the top six in blocked shots; four of the top nine, and eight of the top 20, in field goal percentage; and four of the top 11 in 3-point percentage.