Howard Named to Olympic Team

USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo today announced the 12-players who will represent the United States in the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been named to the team, becoming the third player in franchise history to represent the United States in the Olympic Games (Hardaway, O'Neal in 1996).

The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball Executive Committee, and will be nominated to the United States Olympic Committee to participate in the 2008 Olympic Games.

In addition to Howard, others named to the 2008 USA Basketball Senior National Team were: Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons); Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz).

"I think everyone is excited about the Olympics this summer," said Howard. "We have a great group of players that I am proud to join in representing the United States and we plan on bringing home the gold."

Duke University Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski is head coach of the USA Senior Team program. Serving as assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head mentor Mike D'Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

"This has been, to say the least, an extremely difficult selection process. The 33 players who committed to be part of the USA Senior National Team program and have been involved in our various training camps and competitions the past two summers deserve recognition and acknowledgment for their contributions and for their commitment to their country," said Colangelo.

"Whatever I say will not fully describe just how difficult this selection process has been. We knew it would be difficult when we began the building of the Senior National Team program. It has become obvious that it would be in the best interest of the team, the players and coaches, to select the 12 players prior to our June 28-29 mini-camp so we could begin the process of gelling and getting the team's focus set.

"The 12 players selected have incredible talent, and more importantly, we think this team has excellent leadership; great versatility and balance; and very good chemistry which are critical parts in building a great team. I believe this team is a team all Americans can and will be proud of," added Colangelo.

"I'm excited about the players who comprise this team. The selections were very difficult and something we've been working toward since we initially got the Senior National Team together in the 2006 summer. Unfortunately we are limited to a roster of 12 players and we had incredible commitment for the 33 players in our Senior Team program," said Krzyzewski, who has directed the team the part two summers.

"Our team has excellent athleticism and great versatility. We have players who are experienced in the international game thanks to the last two summers' training and competitions. I feel really good where we are, we have the foundation in but we have a lot work ahead."

"The past two summers' experiences will definitely help our team. As we have learned, the international teams we will face in Beijing are also extremely talented and they play very well as a team. Our Senior National Team program has helped us achieve confidence, continuity and excellent chemistry too. This summer's Olympics are going to be an unbelievable competition," stated Krzyzewski.

Of the 12 selected players, six were part of the 2006 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team, and eight were part of the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship that qualified the U.S. for the 2008 Olympics. Three players - Anthony, Howard and James, were members of both teams. Players on the 2006 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team were: Anthony; Bosh; Howard; James; Paul; and Wade. Members of last summer's FIBA Americas Championship squad were: Anthony; Bryant; Howard; James; Kidd; Prince; Redd; and Williams.

Kidd, at 35 years old, will be the veteran leader of the USA team. A member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that finished 8-0 and captured the gold medal in Sydney, Australia, Kidd has played on eight USA Basketball teams and boasts of a perfect 44-0 record at senior level competitions.

Kidd, along with 2004 Olympians Anthony, Boozer, James and Wade, will look to add their names to an elite USA group of multiple-time Olympians which currently consists of 13 men (David Robinson-1988, 1992 and 1996; Charles Barkley-1992, 1996; Patrick Ewing-1984, 1992; Burdette Haldorson-1956, 1960; William Hougland-1952, 1956; Michael Jordan-1984, 1992; Robert Kurland-1948, 1952; Karl Malone-1996, 1992; Chris Mullin-1984, 1992; Gary Payton-1996, 2000; Scottie Pippen-1992, 1996; Mitch Richmond-1988, 1996; and John Stockton-1992, 1996.

The average age of the 12 players named to the 2008 U.S. team by the end of the ‘08 Olympics will be 26.08 years old. The USA team at the FIBA Americas Championship averaged 26.00, the USA team at the 2006 FIBA World Championship averaged 24.50 years of age, while the USA team at the 2004 Olympics averaged 23.60 years of age.