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Monday, June 14

Illini players included in men's USA Basketball trials

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[JUNE 14, 2004]  COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Eighteen players with previous USA Basketball experience are among the 24 athletes who will vie for positions on this year's qualifying team for the USA Basketball world championship for young men. Included among players announced last week are last year's USA Basketball Junior World championship team members Maurice Ager of Michigan State, Detroit, Mich.; Daniel "Dee" Brown, Illinois, Maywood, Ill.; Ryan Hollins, UCLA, Pasadena, Calif.; J.J. Redick, Duke, Roanoke, Va.; Mustafa Shakur, Arizona, Philadelphia, Pa.; C.J. Watson, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Nev.; and Deron Williams, Illinois, The Colony, Texas.

The USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, chaired by former University of Virginia Athletic Director Terry Holland, selected the invitees and will make the final roster cuts at the national team trials and training camp July 16-23 in East Rutherford, N.J. Athletes eligible for selection to this age-based team include any male who is a U.S. citizen and is 20 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1984).

In addition to Ager, Dee Brown, Hollins, Redick, Shakur, Watson and Deron Williams, the players who have accepted invitations to the team trials are Hassan Adams, Arizona, Los Angeles, Calif.; Sean Banks, Memphis, Englewood, N.J.; Josh Boone, Connecticut, Mount Airy, Md.; Aaron Brooks, Oregon, Seattle, Wash.; Shannon Brown, Michigan State, Maywood, Ill.; Justin Gray, Wake Forest, Charlotte, N.C.; Sean May, North Carolina, Bloomington, Ind.; Rashad McCants, North Carolina, Asheville, N.C.; Demetris Nichols, Syracuse, Barrington, R.I.; David Padgett, school to be determined, Reno, Nev.; Chris Paul, Wake Forest, Lewisville, N.C.; Curtis Sumpter, Villanova, Brooklyn, N.Y.; P.J. Tucker, Texas, Raleigh, N.C.; Charlie Villaneuva, Connecticut, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Eric Williams, Wake Forest, Wake Forest, N.C.; Curtis Withers, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.; and Bracey Wright, Indiana, The Colony, Texas.

Seven return from the last year's Junior World championship team, which journeyed to Thessaloniki, Greece, and finished fifth with a 7-1 record, a mark that tied gold medalist Australia for the best record in the tournament. The USA squad also went 5-0 to win gold at the 2003 Global Games in Dallas, Texas.

Dee Brown led the team at the Junior Worlds in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game, and added 4.1 assists per game, while Illini teammate Deron Williams contributed 8.4 points per game and handed out a team-best 4.8 assists per game.

Hollins accounted for 7.8 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks; Ager added 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds; Watson was credited with 6.0 points and 2.0 assists; Shakur posted averages of 5.0 points and 2.8 assists; while Redick was injured and limited to action in just two games.

Supplying additional USA Basketball experience are Brooks, Dee Brown, Padgett and Deron Williams, who helped the U.S. qualify for the 2003 FIBA Junior World championship after finishing with a 4-1 record and the bronze medal at the 2002 FIBA Americas Junior World qualifier in Venezuela.

Redick, a four-time USA Basketball team member, as well as McCants, competed in a pair of USA Basketball Youth Development Festivals. The duo head a list of 12 who got their USA Basketball start at the festival. Others are Adams, Banks, Shannon Brown, Gray, May, Nichols, Padgett, Paul, Deron Williams and Wright.

A total of five 2004 all-Americans further underscore the strength of the USA team candidates. May was an ESPN.com all-America third-team selection and Associated Press all-America honorable mention; McCants was listed as an all-America second team by Basketball Times and third team by the Associated Press; Redick was named by the National Association of Basketball Coaches all-America third team, and he, along with Paul, were Associated Press all-America honorable mentions following the 2003-04 season. The fifth all-American listed on the team trials roster is Withers, a Basketball Times all-America third-team selection, who will experience his first taste of USA Basketball in July.

Guiding the U.S. squad will be University of Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, who will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Tom Crean of Marquette (Wis.) University and Dan Monson of the University of Minnesota.

Finalists for the USA team will be selected following trials July 16-18 at the New Jersey Nets' practice facility in East Rutherford. The trials schedule will see the candidates competing twice a day, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (all times local). Finalists will remain in New Jersey for the team's training camp, which will again feature two-a-days at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the eventual 12-member squad will be finalized sometime prior to the final practice in New Jersey at 10 a.m. on July 23.

Following a 2 p.m. practice session in Saint John, Canada, on July 24, the U.S. will take on Canada's national young men's team on July 25 in a 2 p.m. exhibition game at Harbour Station in Saint John. Tickets for the exhibition game can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office or by calling (800) 267-2800, or (506) 657-1234 in Canada.

The American squad will get in a final pair of practices in Halifax, Canada, on July 26 and 27 before tipping off play at the FIBA Americas world championship qualifying tourney on July 28. The U.S. will compete against seven other teams from the Americas for one of the three zone qualifying berths for the 2005 FIBA world championships, which will be hosted next summer by Argentina. Featuring eight nations divided into two groups of four, the competition schedule, which will be released at a later date, includes a preliminary round with round-robin play between teams in each group July 28-30. The top two finishing teams in each group will advance to the July 31 semifinals, and the gold medal will be contested Aug. 1.

 

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The world championship and its zone qualifying tournaments take place every four years. Originally played in 1993, it was designed for men 22 years old or younger. FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21 years old or younger in December 1998 and changed the competition name.

The USA has qualified for all three previous world championship tournaments and has compiled a 22-2 overall record while winning gold medals in 1993 and 2001. United States squads have also compiled a 15-2 win-loss record in the three qualifiers, winning gold in 1996 and silver in 2000 and 1993.

USA Basketball national team trials

Roster

(Name, position, height, weight, date of birth, year of graduation, college, hometown)

Hassan Adams, G, 64, 201, 06-20-84, 2006, Arizona, Los Angeles, Calif.

Maurice Ager, G, 65, 195, 02-09-84, 2006, Michigan State, Detroit, Mich.

Sean Banks, F, 6-8, 206, 01-20-85, 2007, Memphis, Englewood, N.J.

Josh Boone, F-C, 610, 230, 11-21-84, 2007, Connecticut, Mount Airy, Md.

Aaron Brooks, G, 60, 160, 01-15-85, 2007, Oregon, Seattle, Wash.

Daniel Brown, G, 6-0, 175, 08-17-84, 2006, Illinois, Maywood, Ill.

Shannon Brown, G, 63, 200, 11-29-85, 2007, Michigan State, Maywood, Ill.

Justin Gray, G, 62, 185, 03-31-84, 2006, Wake Forest, Charlotte, N.C.

Ryan Hollins, C, 70, 225, 10-10-84, 2006, UCLA, Pasadena, Calif.

Sean May, F-C, 69, 260, 04-04-84, 2006, North Carolina, Bloomington, Ind.

Rashad McCants, F-G, 64, 207, 09-25-84, 2006, North Carolina, Asheville, N.C.

Demetris Nichols, F, 68, 205, 09-04-84, 2007, Syracuse, Barrington, R.I.

David Padgett, C, 611, 230, 02-13-85, 2007, to be determined, Reno, Nev.

Chris Paul, G, 60, 168, 05-06-85, 2007, Wake Forest, Lewisville, N.C.

J.J. Redick, G, 64, 195, 06-24-84, 2006, Duke, Roanoke, Va.

Mustafa Shakur, G, 63, 178, 08-18-84, 2007, Arizona, Philadelphia, Pa.

Curtis Sumpter, F, 67, 220, 01-30-84, 2006, Villanova, Brooklyn, N.Y.

P.J. Tucker, F, 6-5, 220, 05-05-85, 2007, Texas, Raleigh, N.C.

Charlie Villaneuva, F, 611, 230, 08-24-84, 2007, Connecticut, Brooklyn, N.Y.

C.J. Watson, G, 62, 175, 04-17-84, 2006, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Nev.

Deron Williams, G, 63, 210, 06-26-84, 2006, Illinois, The Colony, Texas

Eric Williams, C, 69, 275, 03-26-84, 2006, Wake Forest, Wake Forest, N.C.

Curtis Withers, F-C, 68, 230, 08-02-84, 2006, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.

Bracey Wright, G, 63, 200, 07-01-84, 2006, Indiana, The Colony, Texas

Head coach: Kelvin Sampson, University of Oklahoma

Assistant coach: Tom Crean, Marquette (Wis.) University (Wis.)

Assistant coach: Dan Monson, University of Minnesota

Note: David Padgett competed for the University of Kansas as a freshman during the 2003-04 season but announced in April he would transfer to a yet-to-be-announced school.

Schedule

July 16-18 -- National team trials, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., New Jersey Nets' practice facility, East Rutherford, N.J.

July 19-22 -- Training camp practice, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., New Jersey Nets' practice facility, East Rutherford, N.J.

July 23 -- Practice, 10 a.m., New Jersey Nets' practice facility, East Rutherford, N.J.

July 24 -- Practice, 2 p.m., Saint John, Canada

July 25 -- USA versus Canada, 2 p.m., Harbour Station, Saint John, Canada

July 26-27 -- Practice, Halifax, Canada

July 28 -- Preliminary rounds of the FIBA Americas world championship qualifier, Halifax Metro Center, Halifax, Canada

July 31 -- Semifinals, Halifax Metro Center, Halifax, Canada

Aug. 1 -- Finals, Halifax Metro Center, Halifax, Canada

[USA Basketball news release]

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