TODAY LAS VEGAS, TOMORROW THE WORLD
* ... As part of USA Basketball's roster of 24 candidates brought together to return the United States to the top in international competition, former Tar Heel Antwan Jamison looks at his selection to Team USA (USA Basketball Men's Senior Team) 2006 as a great opportunity to represent his country.
Jamison's goal is to be on the final 12-player roster that will take part in the FIBA 2006 World Championship in Japan starting on August 19. The team has already been reduced by six due to injuries and personal issues and stands at 18. The first practice session in Las Vegas ends tomorrow. Three players will be put on reserve status by the time the next session begins on July 31, also in Las Vegas, for the 15 finalists.
In his blog at nba.com after the the first day of practice, under the heading of 'The Opportunity of a Lifetime,' Jamison wrote: "It's very important for me to make this team. It's the opportunity of a lifetime, having the opportunity to not only represent my family, my friends, and my teammates, but my country. ... To have this opportunity to put on the USA jersey and say I represented my country would be my biggest accomplishment and hopefully it comes through."
The team's training camp in Vegas ends with an exhibition game on August 3 vs. Puerto Rico at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. From August 6 - 8 the training site shifts to China and includes games scheduled with China and Brazil.
Next stop -- Seoul, South Korea, for more training and the World Basketball Challenge with games against Lithuania and South Korea from August 11 - 16.
After arriving in Sapporo, Japan, on August 17, Team USA will begin preliminary round games on August 19 in Group D versus Puerto Rico, followed by China, Slovenia, Italy and Senegal on August 24.
Other former Tar Heels expected to play at the 2006 World Championship at this time are Ademola Okulaja with Germany (Group B), Ed Cota with Panama (Group B) and Senegal's Makhtar Ndiaye (Group D). Dante Calabria has played on the Italian national team in the past, but is not on the team's current roster.
SUMMER LEAGUE WRAP-UP
* ... The only thing that could slow down Marvin Williams at the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in Utah was an injury. Williams sat out Atlanta's fifth game on Thursday because of an ailing left hip after pouring in 100 points in the first four games on his second tour of the NBA's summer circuit.
Williams was able to play 26 minutes on Friday and closed things out with 16 points. Williams was named the Revue's MVP as he averaged 23.6 ppg in 31.8 mpg with 5 rpg and 3.2 apg. Williams also averaged 11.6-for-13.2 (.879) on free throws (58-66) in five games played. Williams also shot an excellent 28-of-51 from the field for 55 percent, that includes 2-2 on three-pointers.
Williams took time for an Internet chat during his stay in Salt Lake City. Rob from Atlanta asked Marvin to what extent his dominant MVP performance will carry over to next season?
Williams replied: "I'm hoping it transfers over smoothly. I want to improve on my performance from last year and that's the case now in the Summer League and I just want to continue that improvement into the regular season."
Here's the link for the full chat transcript: nba.com
Byron Sanders played nearly 48 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers at the Summer Pro League at Long Beach in southern California. Sanders appeared in six of eight games, scored 10 points (5-16 FG, 0-1 3-pt. FG), took down eight rebounds, dished three assists, gave away three turnovers and rejected two shots.
In two games in Long Beach for the Memphis Grizzlies, Joseph Forte played 42 minutes, scored 11 points on 3-14 from the field and 5-6 from the line. He also had six boards, three assists, one steal and zero turnovers.
Check the IC front page for "Heels in NBA Summer League Update" or use this link -- for the game-by-game stats on the Tar Heels that played NBA summer hoops in 2006.
CAPEL GOING BACK TO ITALY
* ... The Italian pro basketball club Air Avellino has announced that they have a contract with Jason Capel. Last year, Capel averaged 15.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in Italy for Roseto Basket.
Since leaving North Carolina, Capel has played pro basketball in Japan and two seasons with Fayetteville of the NBA's Development League.
"He will be a leader on the court and off," said a team official about Capel at the team Web site. "He brings a mix of talent and reliability, just the type of player we are trying to acquire."
Avellino also recently signed Ohio State's Brent Darby for 2006-07.
BUCKNALL FINDING TALENT IN THE U.K.
* ... The News Shopper in England reported last week that Joe Ebdon, 14, was among 12 young English basketball talents to earn a trip to Boston, Mass., on July 22 to play basketball for one week at the Bucknall Essential Skills Camp organized by former Tar Heel Steve Bucknall.
Ebdon considers this as a chance to be scouted by an American university while attending basketball camp in the U.S. "I'd like to go to North Carolina because Michael Jordan and Steve Bucknall went there," said the nearly six-foot tall youngster to the News Shopper. "It would also be good to get away from my brother and sister," he added.
Ebdon has been playing basketball for two years. He plays shooting guard and "buries three-pointers like they were going out of fashion," the News Shopper article stated.
It was also noted by the London Times recently that Bucknall's basketball camp, known as The Carolina Experience, played a big part in the basketball success of England's Joel Freeland, who was selected in the 2006 NBA Draft's first-round at No. 30 by Portland.
Freeland was first spotted at the Bucknall camp held at the Crystal Palace in London by "scouts and interested onlookers from across Europe." They were very impressed by Freeland and the England-born "beanpole was an instant hit."
Bucknall's Carolina Experience basketball camp for boys and girls in London, England, is scheduled for August 7 through August 12 at the Crystal Palace, according to -- the event's official Web site.