August 16, 2006
ATLANTA – Former Georgia Tech forward Chris Bosh has been named one of the 12 members which will comprise the USA Basketball Senior National Team for the upcoming FIBA World Championships, Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Wednesday.
The USA opens FIBA World Championship preliminary group play on Aug. 19 against Puerto Rico in Sapporo, Japan. Preliminary play continues through Aug. 24, with the U.S. playing a total of five games over the six days.
Selected for the 2006 USA Basketball Men’s World Championship Team were: Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Shane Battier (Houston Rockets); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers); Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Antawn Jamison (Washington Wizards); Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks); Brad Miller (Sacramento Kings); Chris Paul (New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets); and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat).
Bosh joins former head coach Bobby Cremins, Mark Price, Tom Hammonds and Kenny Anderson as Tech basketball alums who played in the World Championships for the United States.
The Lancaster, Texas native started all 31 games for Tech’s 2003 NIT team, earning second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors while also being named ACC Rookie of the Year. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by Toronto, and has averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds over three seasons with the Raptors.
For Team USA in preliminary action, Bosh has averaged 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds, starting two of the five USA games on its tour.
“This has been a great process, it’s difficult especially when you get down to the end because you get so attached to the last members of the team,” said Krzyzewski.
“I think we’re very together; I think we’re working hard; We’re very unselfish; No one really cares who gets the credit. I think they all have one goal and that is to win. They’ve been easy to coach. I haven’t had to worry about minutes, who’s starting, that type of thing, although I do think we need to get into a little bit better rotation than we had when we were doing a platoon system, but we knew we would do that when we got down to 12.”
The averaged age of the 12 US players selected for the World Championship is 24.5 years old, with 30-year-old Miller listing as the oldest member of the team and 20-year-old Howard the youngest. The players also boast of an average of 4.25 NBA regular seasons of experience.
Krzyzewski is serving as head coach of the USA Senior Team and is being assisted by Syracuse University (N.Y.) and Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Phoenix Suns head mentor Mike D’Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.
The USA team is scheduled to train Aug. 17 and 18 in Sapporo, Japan, where it will play its preliminary group games of the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Men from Aug. 19-24.
Joining the US in preliminary Group D are China (Asia Zone champion and ranked #14), Italy (wild card qualifier and ranked #6), Puerto Rico (wild card qualifier and ranked #11), Senegal (Africa Zone runner-up and ranked #30) and Slovenia (European zone sixth place finisher and ranked #22).
All five of the USA’s preliminary group game in the World Championship will be televised live by ESPN2.
The US will open the `06 Worlds on Aug. 19 facing Puerto Rico, a team it is very familiar with. Earning a 114-69 victory in the Aug. 3 in the State Farm USA Basketball Challenge in Las Vegas, the USA owns an all-time 7-1 record against Puerto Rico in World Championship play. In the opening game of the 2004 Olympics Puerto Rico stunned the Americans 92-73.
One day later, Aug. 20, the American men will face a Yao Ming led China squad. The United States is 4-0 against China in World Championship games, last recording an 84-65 victory in 2002. The two teams most recently met on Aug. 7 in Guangzhou, China, and with Ming out injured, the US posted a 119-73 victory. Following a day off on Aug. 21, the US returns to action Aug. 22 against Slovenia, a team it has never previously faced in World Championship play.
On Aug. 23 the USA men will take on `04 Olympic silver medalist Italy. Italy, just prior to the `04 Olympics, handed the US a 95-78 loss in an exhibition game held in Cologne, Germany. However, the US owns an all-time 5-2 mark against Italy in World Championship play, having last met in 1998, a game the US claimed by an 80-77 margin.
The USA will close out preliminary round play on Aug. 24 facing Senegal, another team that the Americans have not faced before in the World Championships.
Composition of the other preliminary round groups are: Group A, which will play in Sendai City, consists of Argentina (2004 Olympic champion and ranked #3); Venezuela (Americas Zone third place finisher and ranked #20); France (European Zone third place finisher and ranked #10); Serbia & Montenegro (wild card qualifier and ranked #2); Lebanon (Asia Zone runner-up and ranked #26); and Nigeria (Africa Zone third place finisher and ranked #21). Group B will play in Hiroshima City and features Spain (European Zone fourth place finisher and ranked #5); Panama (Americas Zone fifth place finisher and ranked #34); Germany (European Zone runner-up and ranked #13); host Japan (ranked #25); New Zealand (Oceania Zone runner-up and ranked #16); and Angola (African Zone champion and ranked #17). Group C games will be held in Hamamatsu City and that group includes Lithuania (European Zone fifth place finisher and ranked #4); Brazil (Americas Zone champion and ranked #15); Greece (European Zone champion and ranked #8); Turkey (wild card qualifier and ranked #18); Australia (Oceania Zone champion and ranked #9); and Qatar (Asia Zone third place finisher and ranked #28).
At the ’06 World Championship each team plays the other teams in its preliminary group and the top four finishing teams from each preliminary group will then qualify for the Eighth-Finals. Winners of the Eighth-Finals games will advance to the quarterfinals, while losers are eliminated from the competition. Winners of the quarterfinals games will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the quarterfinals losers will play in the consolation round semifinals and play out for fifth-eighth places. Winners of the medal round semifinals will advance to the gold medal game, while medal round semifinals losers will meet in the bronze medal game. All games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played on a one-game elimination basis for the gold medal. The games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played Aug. 26-Sept. 3 in Saitama, Japan.
2006 FIBA World Championship
Held every four years and considered international basketball’s diamond event, the US has had mixed results in World Championship play.
Placing sixth and finishing with a 6-3 record in 2002, the 1998 USA World Championship Team originally was to be a team comprising NBA players. But when labor problems in the NBA prevented the use of their players, the USA team ended up comprising American players who were playing professionally overseas, in the CBA or in college. Despite formulating the team just weeks in advance of the Worlds, the US rolled to a surprising 7-2 finish and the bronze medal.
The US last claimed gold at the 1994 World Championship in Toronto, Canada. Behind the play of World Championship MVP Shaquille O’Neal, and Reggie Miller, Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars and others, the US finished 8-0 to take the gold medal and did so in dominating fashion, winning its eight games by an average of 37.7 points a game.
All told, the USA has won nine medals in World Championship play – three gold (1954, 1986 and 1994), three silver (1950, 1959 and 1982) and three bronze medals (1974, 1990 and 1998). Overall, USA teams have compiled a 97-26 win-loss record in the World Championships for a 78.9 winning percentage.