Rondo among 16 finalists

Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo is among sixteen finalists for the 2005 USA Basketball U21 National Team. If selected for the 12-man squad Rondo will compete in the FIBA World Championships, which begin August 5th.

DALLAS, Texas (July 24, 2005) - Following six sessions of 2005 USA U21 National Team Trials featuring 20 of the nation's elite 21-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1984), USA Basketball announced today that 16 athletes remain in the hunt for a spot on the 2005 USA U21 World Championship Team. Finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Syracuse University (N.Y.) head coach Jim Boeheim.

"I was impressed with the players' approach, the seriousness with which they approached the trials," said USA and Saint Joseph's University (Pa.) head coach Phil Martelli. "I was also impressed with their willingness to try and improve. The quality of play has gotten significantly better since the beginning of the trials. We asked them to make it difficult to bring the list (of players) down and they certainly have done that. That was the first stage. And now this stage, getting to the final roster, is going to be very challenging. We're going to concentrate on guys who are great teammates, as opposed to those who are just great talents."

Still in the running for one of the coveted roster spots are: Ronnie Brewer (Arkansas / Fayetteville, Ark.); Aaron Brooks (Oregon / Seattle, Wash.); Mardy Collins (Temple / Philadelphia, Pa.); Glen Davis (Louisiana State / Baton Rouge, La.); Jared Dudley (Boston College / San Diego, Calif.); Nick Fazekas (Nevada / Arvada, Colo.); Rudy Gay (Connecticut / Baltimore, Md.); Justin Gray (Wake Forest / Charlotte, N.C.); Taj Gray (Oklahoma / Wichita, Kan.); Allan Ray (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.); J.J. Redick (Duke / Roanoke, Va.); Terrence Roberts (Syracuse / Jersey City, N.J.); Rajon Rondo (Kentucky / Louisville, Ky.); Darius Washington, Jr. (Memphis / Winter Park, Fla.); Marcus Williams (Connecticut / Los Angeles, Calif.); and Curtis Withers (Charlotte / Charlotte, N.C.).

The remaining 16 team finalists will remain in Dallas for the USA's July 24 - Aug. 1 training camp, which will feature a July 24 scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks summer team, starting at 2:00 p.m. (all times CDT) at the Dr. Pepper Star Center in Frisco. The training camp will conclude with a pair of daily practices at the Dallas Mavericks practice facility at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on July 25 and July 26. The U.S. squad will then compete in the July 27-30 Global Games at the Dr. Pepper Star Center. The eventual 12-member USA team will be announced during the training camp.

Following two more days of practices, July 31 and Aug. 1 (sites and times TBD), the American team will travel to Argentina for its final practices before tipping off play at the 2005 FIBA U21 World Championship on Aug. 5.

No longer participating in the trials are: Josh Boone (Connecticut / Mt. Airy, Md.), who is suffering back spasms; Shannon Brown (Michigan State / Maywood, Ill.); JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State / Pleasant Grove, N.C.), who has inflammation in his left iliotibial (IT) band; and C.J. Giles (Kansas / Seattle, Wash.), who has a left hip pointer (contusion). The injured athletes have returned to their respective schools for rehabilitation.

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