COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 23, 2014 – Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried is among 28 players who have been selected by USA Basketball to be part of the 2014-2016 USA Men's National Team pool.
The invitation offers Faried an opportunity to compete for a spot on the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. The USA National Team pool will be fluid; USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo may add athletes at any time.
"To be invited to Team USA to play for my country is an amazing feeling," Faried said. "I’m very excited about it. I’m very enthusiastic about it. I haven’t felt this way since I made it to the NBA."
In addition to Faried, the pool features 11 players from the gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and includes a total of 12 Olympians who have captured a combined 16 gold medals and two bronze medals. 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," Colangelo said. "This roster is extremely talented, deep and versatile. 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."
“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 Faried, LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); 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 member 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.