Three Former ACC Basketball Players Selected for 2016 U.S. Men's Olympic Team


GREENSBORO, N.C. (usab.com)- Three former ACC basketball players were selected for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, and included: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors/North Carolina); and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke). 

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team was approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors and is pending final approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

“I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we’re extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005. “I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We’ve got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth.” 

“I’m anxious to get on the court, and along with my great coaching staff, get to work,” said USA and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who by serving as head coach of his third Olympic squad is now tied with coaching legend Henry Iba for the most U.S. Olympic basketball head coaching assignments. “Since 2006 and including the last two Olympics, our players have represented themselves, the game and our country in an exemplary manner. I know this team will continue that standard.”

“Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me. We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we’re big and athletic, and I think we’ll really be able to defend.”

The featured ACC members on the roster include Anthony from the 2012 gold medalist  U.S. Olympic Team and Irving, who was a member of the USA World Cup gold medalist team in 2014.

With his selection to the 2016 Olympic Team, three-time Olympic medalist Anthony becomes the first United States male basketball player selected to four Olympic teams.

The average age of the 12 U.S. players will be 26.8 years at the conclusion of the Olympics (Aug. 21, 2016).

Nine players -- Anthony, Butler, Cousins, DeRozan, Durant, George, Green, Lowry and Thompson -- were named as 2016 NBA All-Stars, while Irving, who was named MVP of the 2014 World Cup after helping lead the Americans to gold, recently helped Cleveland capture the 2016 NBA championship.

The 2016 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Krzyzewski, who since being named in 2005 head mentor of the USA National Team program has compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and led the USA to 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medals and 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup titles. He will be assisted by Syracuse University Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams. 

The USA National Team will train July 18-21 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Americans’ Las Vegas training concludes July 22 (6:00 p.m. PDT) with the USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon that features the USA facing Argentina at the T-Mobile Arena.

The U.S. will play two exhibition games versus 2015 FIBA Asia zone champ China, the first at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. (PDT) on July 24 and the second at 7 p.m. (PDT) on July 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Continuing its exhibition tour in Chicago, USA will play on July 29 at 8 p.m. (CDT) at the United Center against 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela and will conclude the USA Basketball Showcase facing 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria on Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. (CDT) in Houston at the Toyota Center.

Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games are on sale now. 
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 17 Olympics in which they have competed, including 14 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. The American men own an impressive 130-5 (.963 winning percentage) all-time record in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United States in 1992, the USA is 45-3 in six Olympics, capturing five gold medals and one bronze medal.

Since the formation of USA Basketball’s national team program in 2006, USA National Teams have compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and claimed top honors in five of six FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions. Currently, USA national teams enjoy a 63-game win streak (45 straight wins in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions and 18 consecutive wins in exhibition games). The streaks date back to the bronze medal game (Sept. 2, 2006) of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.

The USA also currently enjoys a 17-game Olympic win streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Since first fielding a USA Basketball team of legendary NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball National Teams comprised of NBA players have claimed gold medals in 14 of 16 major international basketball competitions, while compiling an impressive 126-7 overall record (.947 winning percentage) in those competitions and a record of 46-1 (.979 winning percentage) in exhibition games.

2016 Rio Olympic Games 
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Twelve nations will compete in the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball competition. Nations qualified for the Olympic competition include the host country, Brazil; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup; Africa zone champ Nigeria; Venezuela (gold medalist) and Argentina (silver medalist) from FIBA Americas; FIBA Asia gold medalist China; Spain (gold medalist) and Lithuania (silver medalist) from FIBA Europe; and FIBA Oceania gold medalist Australia.

FIBA will host three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT), from which the remaining three nations will earn a berth to the Olympics.  A total of 18 nations, six teams in each tournament, will compete for the right to advance to Rio. Turin, Italy, will host one OQT from July 4-10, and the field features Croatia, Greece, Iran, Italy, Mexico and Tunisia. Belgrade, Serbia, will host the second OQT from July 4-10, with hopefuls Angola, Czech Republic, Latvia, Japan, Puerto Rico and Serbia. The third and final FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be held in Manila, Philippines, July 5-11, and countries competing there are Canada, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Senegal and Turkey. The gold medalist from each of the three FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will punch its ticket to the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball tournament.

Men’s basketball preliminary play at the ’16 Olympics will be held Aug. 6-15, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Aug. 17, semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 21.