USA NAMES INITIAL ROSTER FOR LONDON 2012

Eight members of the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal-winning squad, plus 10 members of the 2010 world champions, have been included in the United States initial 20-strong squad for London 2012.

The final 12-man roster will be selected by June 18, in advance of the Games. The enlarged group includes both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, as well as newcomers Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge who replace Stephon Curry and Danny Granger.

It will play a series of warm-ups ahead of London including a friendly against Great Britain in Manchester.

“The USA Basketball Men’s National Team programme has come a long way as the elite list of players who are now part of our program shows. The selected finalists are a very, very talented group; the depth of the talent is extraordinary. This selection decision was as difficult of a challenge as I’ve faced since I took on the USA National Team programme in 2005,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005.

“I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold. Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we’ll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season and as we’ve done with our teams in the past, we’ll attempt to select the very best team we can.”

USA squad: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers);Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat);Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams  (New Jersey Nets).

The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, and serving as USA assistant coaches are Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni, and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

“Jerry has built an extremely deep and talented USA National Team roster of 35 players and I want to thank each player for their incredible commitment to being part of USA Basketball. Reducing to 20 players was unbelievably difficult,” stated Krzyzewski, who has coached USA National Teams to a sterling 48-1 record since 2006.

“Aside from the obvious special basketball talents that all of these players possess, what struck me most about the finalists was their commitment to USA Basketball and the international basketball experience they have compiled. Among our 20 finalists, we have two players who possess 55 or more games of international experience, two with 40 or more international games under their belts and eight others who have played between 23 and 38 international games – that’s a lot of experience, which is going to be extremely valuable.”

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