Dr. Paul Saenz Added to USA Men’s National Team Medical Staff
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Portland Trail Blazers team physician Don Roberts and San Antonio Spurs team physician Paul Saenz, along with a pair of USA Basketball and NBA experienced head athletic trainers, Joseph Sharpe of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Casey Smith of the Dallas Mavericks, were announced today as the medical staff for the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
The group will handle all medical responsibilities during the 2012 USA National Team’s training camps and exhibition games which will be held in Las Vegas, Nev. (July 5-12), Washington, D.C. (July 13-16), Manchester, England (July 17-19) and Barcelona, Spain (July 20-25).
“The four members of the 2012 USA National Team medical staff provide a wealth of experience with the NBA and USA Basketball,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. “Dr. Roberts and Dr. Saenz are two of the most respected physicians in the NBA, and our two athletic trainers have worked with USA Basketball many times and are well known and respected by our team and staff. We are fortunate to have the services of these four experienced professionals.”
Dr. Roberts has been the team physician for the Portland Trail Blazers since 1994 and in 2008 was recognized as Team Physician of the Year by the National Basketball Trainers Association. He has worked with USA Basketball in the past by providing medical coverage at the annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore., and was also the on-site physician for a 2002 Men’s National Team exhibition game in Portland. He has been a volunteer physician at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and an on-site physician for Davis Cup Finals, Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) All-Star Game and National Hockey League (NHL) exhibitions in Portland.
Dr. Roberts graduated with a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, where he later received his M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine. He did an internship in orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle before returning to Stanford where he taught Human Anatomy while pursuing further surgical training. Dr. Roberts completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Program in Boston, Mass., then served as chief resident in orthopedic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and concluded a fellowship in sports medicine with the team physician for Harvard University. In 1986, he joined Rebound Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in Portland.
Dr. Saenz serves as a team physician for the NBA Spurs in his native San Antonio, in addition to working with the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, the San Antonio Missions Double A Baseball Club, and several San Antonio area high schools and universities. He has been a member of the medical staff for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York City. Dr. Saenz also served as team physician for USA Track and Field at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, and for USA Pentathlon at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Dr. Saenz received his medical education at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth and completed his family practice training in Phoenix, Ariz., followed by a sports medicine fellowship in Seattle, Wash. He returned to San Antonio in 1988 and established himself as the city’s first Primary Care Sports Medicine specialist. Dr. Saenz is board certified in both Family Practice and Sports Medicine and is an associate clinical professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio Medical School and the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Sharpe closed out his fourth season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011-12 after previously serving as the head athletic trainer for the Charlotte Bobcats from its inception into the NBA in 2004 through 2008.
Prior to Charlotte, Sharpe was the assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons, which included the team's Midwest Division title and run to the Western Conference Finals. He was also the head basketball athletic trainer at the University of Connecticut during a nine-year stint with the Huskies and was in charge of the team's medical care during its NCAA Championship season in 1999.
Sharpe has served USA Basketball on several occasions. He was an athletic trainer for the 2010 USA Men’s National Team that won gold at the FIBA World Championship in Istanbul and finished 5-0 during its pre-World Championship tour. In 2009 he was an athletic trainer for the USA’s Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas. He was also the athletic trainer for the 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 Team that captured a silver medal in Argentina, and was athletic trainer for the 2002 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that earned the bronze medal in Isla de Margarita, Venezuela. Additionally, in 2002, he served at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, and was a member of the USOC medical staff for the 2007 World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, with a primary responsibility of men’s basketball.
Smith completed in 2011-12 his eighth season as the Dallas Mavericks head athletic trainer after four years with the Phoenix Suns. His first three seasons in Phoenix were spent as the assistant athletic trainer and in his last year Smith added the additional duties of being the head strength and conditioning coach.
He was an athletic trainer for the 2010 USA World Championship squad that captured gold in Istanbul and finished 5-0 during its pre-World Championship tour. Smith also served as an athletic trainer with the 2006-08 USA Basketball Senior National Team during its training and exhibition tours, and was an athletic trainer for the gold medalist 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, the 2007 USA Olympic Qualifying Team and the 2006 USA World Championship Team that won a bronze medal in Japan.
Prior to his work in the NBA, Smith was the athletic trainer for men's basketball at Arizona State University from 1997-2000 and the director of athletic training services at Morgantown Physical Therapy Associates in West Virginia before that.
He also has spent time during three summers working for the United States Olympic Committee, serving in the capacity of a volunteer at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2002; as the athletic trainer for men's basketball in the 2003 Pan American Games; and as the athletic trainer for the USA men's boxing team for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.