Former Red Raider Involved with USA Basketball|
July 7, 1998
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team Committee announced today the names of the 30 players who have accepted invitations to attend the 1998 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team training July 8-14 in Chicago, Ill. Of the 30 invitees, 12 played in the CBA in 1997-98, including former Texas Tech star Jason Sasser.
Named to the USA World Championship team training were: Wendell Alexis (Alba Berlin, Germany / Syracuse 86); Ashraf Amaya (Idaho Stampede / Souther Illinois 93); Chucky Atkins (Cibona, Croatia / South Florida 97); David Booth (La Crosse Bobcats / DePaul 94); Earl Boykins (Eastern Michigan 98); Tim Breaux (Idaho Stampede / Spain / Wyoming 92); Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State 00); Acie Earl (La Crosse Bobcats / Iowa 93); Bill Edwards (Virtus Rome, Italy / Wright State 93); Evan Eschmeyer (Northwestern 99); Kiwane Garris (Grand Rapids / Illinois 97); Richard Hamilton (Connecticut 00); Michael Hawkins (Olympiakos, Greece / Xavier 95); Bernard Hopkins (Gran Canaris, Spain / VCU 96); Troy Hudson (Sioux Falls Skyforce / Southern Illinois 97); Nate Huffman (Idaho Stampede / Central Michigan 97); Tim Kempton (La Crosse Bobcats / Notre Dame 86); Warren Kidd (Stefanel Milano, Italy / Middle Tennessee State 93); Gerard King (Siena, Italy / Nichols State 96); Jimmy King (Quad City Thunder / Michigan 95); Trajan Langdon (Duke 99); Randy Livingston (Sioux Falls Skyforce / LSU 96); Gerald Madkins (Rockford Lightning / UCLA 92); Richard Manning (Rockford Lightning / Washington 93); Mike McDonald (Grand Rapids Hoops / New Orleans 95); Brad Miller (Purdue 98); Jimmy Oliver (Ciudad De Huelva, Spain / Purdue 91); Jason Sasser (Sioux Falls Skyforce / Caja San Fernando, Spain / Texas Tech 96); Larry Stewart (Turkey / Coppin State 91); David Wood (Rockford Lightning / Spain / Nevada Reno 87).
Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich will serve as head coach of the 1998 USA Basketball World Championship Team, while Los Angeles Lakers head coach Del Harris and University of Illinois head mentor Lon Kruger will complete Tomjanovich's coaching staff as assistant coaches. Former George Washington University (D.C.) head coach Mike Jarvis, recently withdrew from the coaching staff after being named head mentor at St. John's University (N.Y.) and undertaking the demands of the program there.
The 1998 FIBA World Championship for Men take place July 29-August 9 in Athens, Greece. Held every four years by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the World Championship is contested by 16 national teams.
"This is a group of players that the Selection Committee put together through past scouting and recommendations. We feel confident that out of this group we can and will field a very competitive team, a team that will go out and try to win the World Championship. There's limited training time but we will try and give these players a real good look. I'm going to be looking for guys who play hard at both ends, not only aggressive offensively, but on the defensive end too. International basketball has really improved and we are going to have to play very good defense," said USA head coach Tomjanovich. A total of 12 players boast of previous USA Basketball experience. McDonald and Sasser were members of the 1997 USA Basketball World Championship Qualifying Team that captured gold last summer in Uruguay with a 9-1 record. Boykins was selected as USA Basketball 1997 Male Athlete of the Year after leading the USA World University Games Team to a gold medal in Italy. Eschmeyer and Miller were both members of the 1997 USA Basketball 22 And Under World Championship Team that finished 6-2 and in fifth place in Australia. Langdon was a member of the 1995 Junior World Championship Team and 1994 Junior World Championship Qualifying team. Players who participated in U.S. Olympic Festival for USA Basketball include Alexis (1983), Amaya (1990), Atkins (1993), Breaux (1989), Eschmeyer (1993), Kempton (1983), Livingston (1994) and Miller (1995).
The list of finalists also includes 1998 CBA Most Valuable Player Jimmy King and 1998 CBA Defensive Player of the Year McDonald; three members of the 1998 All-CBA first team, Jimmy King, Booth and Madkins; two players from the CBA All-Defensive Team, Jimmy King, McDonald; and one member of the CBA All-Rookie Team, Hauffman.
Several of the players have also made solid names for themselves overseas including Alexis who placed 27th overall in the 1997 EuroLeague Player of the Year voting, while Hopkins was runner-up for Spanish League Player of the Year honors. King was the leading rebounder in the Italian League averaging 13.5 boards a game, and Edwards was the fourth leading scorer in Italy in 1997-98.
Of the returning collegians, Cleaves, a Michigan State junior-to-be, was an Associated Press All-America second team selection, and the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. University of Connecticut junior-to-be Hamilton was the 1997-98 Big East Conference and ECAC Player of the Year and also an A.P. All-America second team selection. Langdon, who will be a senior at Duke in 1998-99, was a third team A.P. All-American, and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team. Eschmeyer was a member of All-Big Ten Conference first team in 1997-98 and 1996-97. Miller, who completed his collegiate career at Purdue in 1998, was an All-Big Ten Conference second team selection, and Boykins was the Mid-American Conference Tournament MVP last season while at Eastern Michigan University.
Training plans for the 1998 USA Basketball Team call for the squad to train at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, July 8-14. The 12-member USA team will travel to Monte Carlo, Monaco to train July 15-23 and play a pair of exhibition games on July 18 (versus France), July 19 (versus Spain). Moving on to Rome, Italy, the U.S. squad will train July 23-25 in Rome, Italy and play one exhibition game on July 25 (versus Italy). Traveling to Greece on July 26, the USA team begins World Championship preliminary round play on July 29 against Brazil, and continues preliminary round play on July 30 versus Lithuania and July 31 against South Korea. Second Round Group play is slated to be conducted August 2-4, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals action to be held August 7-9.
Based in Colorado Springs, USA Basketball is a non-profit organization and operates as the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States under the authority of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball's mission is to field American teams for international competitions, including the Olympics, competitions involving high school and college players, in addition to funding international basketball teams from physically challenged organizations.