* Larry Brown has three weeks to get twelve NBA stars to "play the right way" in order to claim gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games (August 13-29) in Athens, Greece. Brown will start that process today in Jacksonville, Fla. when practice begins for the USA Men's Senior National Team, a group that hopes to become known as Dream Team IV by the end of August.
Brown will have help getting the team prepared from North Carolina coach Roy Williams, in his role as an assistant coach. Another familiar face will also be on hand in Jacksonville. Dean Smith will be an observer during the week of training that will end with an exhibition game against Puerto Rico on July 31 (ESPN, 1 p.m. EDT).
"I talk to him all the time," Brown said during a teleconference last week when asked if he had a chance to talk to Smith, the coach of the 1976 gold medalists, about preparing a team for the Olympics. "He's thrilled for Roy and myself. He's going to come down to Jacksonville and we're going to pick his brain a little bit. He told me to keep it simple and he basically told me what we try to do every day I've ever coached -- play hard, play smart, try to play defense and play unselfishly."
The training site shifts to Cologne, Germany from August 1-4, where the USA will meet Italy on August 3 (ESPN, 2 p.m. EDT) and Germany on August 4 (ESPN, 2 p.m.). The German national team features NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and former Tar Heel Ademola Okulaja.
BUCKNALL CAMP OPENS TODAY
* Former Tar Heel Steve Bucknall begins "The Carolina Experience" basketball camp today in his native London, England. The camp is for boys and girls 13-to-18 and is based on providing instruction in basketball fundamentals to youth and coaches in the manner Bucknall learned them at North Carolina when he was coached by the legendary Dean Smith.
The camp runs from July 26-30. Bucknall is on the staff and will be joined in London by his former Tar Heel teammate J.R. Reid, a 10-year veteran of the NBA.
"The Carolina Experience" features a coaching seminar on July 30 and 31. Last year, Dean Smith was the guest speaker. This year, the guest speakers include former North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge and former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins.
You can visit www.bucknallessentialskills.com for more information about the event.
LANG HAS SUMMER LEAGUE DOUBLE-DOUBLE
* Former Tar Heel Kris Lang closed things out with the Memphis Grizzlies at the Southern California Summer Pro League in Long Beach, Calif. in a big way.
In the sixth game of a seven-game run last Thursday, Lang played 43 minutes in an overtime game against the Dallas B-team and grabbed 14 rebounds to go with 14 points (7-10 FG) as Memphis won the contest 101-98.
Playing in seven games (4-3) for the Griz, Lang averaged 21 minutes, 5.1 points (15-26 FG, 6-13 FT) and 7.1 rebounds (one every 3.4 min.) to go along with seven steals, five blocks, three assists and nine turnovers in his bid to make an impression on the NBA scouts in attendance.
WOFFORD NAMES UNC GRAD
* North Carolina graduate Edgar Farmer Jr. ('94) has been named as the new head coach of the Wofford College (Spartanburg, S.C.) women's basketball team.
Farmer earned a bachelor of arts degree in African-American studies from the University of North Carolina, and was a member of the junior varsity basketball team. After graduation, he was an assistant coach under Randy Wiel with the Tar Heel junior varsity.
During the 1993-94 season, Farmer was the audio-visual technical coordinator for the national champion North Carolina women's basketball team.
Farmer has been an assistant coach for the Wofford women's basketball program for the past two seasons. "Edgar is a very impressive individual. With his two years on our campus, he has a tremendous understanding of the Wofford community. We believe our women's basketball program will benefit from his strong leadership." Wofford athletic director Richard Johnson said.
Farmer has served as an assistant men's basketball coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College and spent two years as an assistant coach of the Lady Pirates at East Carolina.
The Wofford Lady Terriers (Southern Conference) will try to rebound from last year's disappointing 0-28 season.
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS
* July 26: Dick Grubar (57) ... July 27: Bill Guthridge (67) and Kenny Harris (33) ... July 31: Derrick Phelps (32) ... August 1: Roy Williams (54) and Ranzino Smith (38).