Prince joining LeBron, Oden at USA Basketball Camp

Oden, Durant added to U.S. team; LeBron's status not set
AP Photo
By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer
Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are headed to USA Basketball camp.
LeBron James' summer plans still seem up in the air.
The United States added eight players to its roster Wednesday,
highlighted by the college stars who figure to be the top two picks
in the NBA draft.
"To show that they already have this commitment to playing for
the United States at this age is terrific," U.S. coach Mike
Krzyzewski said during a conference call. "Hopefully they'll play
many, many years for the United States."
Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Mike Miller, Tayshaun
Prince and Tyson Chandler also were invited to Las Vegas for
training camp in July, a month before the Americans will try to
qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
James, one of the team's captains, has called himself only
"50-50" to join his teammates in the tournament because his
girlfriend is expecting a baby next month and he wants to rest.
"I've been pretty clear on the fact that the commitments have
worked both ways. These three-year commitments, we expect people to
honor those," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo
said. "But we have things that come up in life, let's be realistic
about that. Injuries, family situations, and so I want to take each
case individually.
"At this point regarding LeBron, I think it's hearsay. Because
what I'm hearing from his people is something different than what
I've seen printed in the papers. So I'm not going to deal with that
now. We'll deal with it when it's time."
Colangelo also said Phoenix star Amare Stoudemire called
Krzyzewski on Tuesday to confirm his participation. Stoudemire, who
had two knee surgeries last year, seemed hesitant to play after the
Suns' season ended.
The Americans hoped to have this summer off, but instead were
forced to qualify for the Olympics after failing to win the world
championships last summer. They lost in the semifinals to Greece,
whose bigger guards took advantage of the smaller U.S. backcourt.
Kidd and Williams should help that weakness.
"The international guards, a lot of them are big. It's much
more physical," Krzyzewski said. "There's much more physical
contact on the ballhandler, and if you don't match that strength
you can get knocked back and it affects the way run your offense
and defense."
Oden and Chandler add the rebounding and shot blocking that
Colangelo sought, Prince is an excellent defensive player, and
Miller gives the Americans some sorely needed perimeter shooting.
"There was a rhyme and reason for every player who was an
addition to this roster," Colangelo said.
The Americans will gather for training camp from July 20-22,
with a blue-white game on the last day. The roster will be trimmed
before the team returns to camp in August.
Besides the players added Wednesday, the Americans are also
getting back Kobe Bryant, Chauncey Billups and Michael Redd, who
couldn't play last summer. The final 12-man roster for the FIBA
Americas tournament must be submitted the day before the Aug. 22
start.
Oden and Durant will have a chance to be on it. Even if they
aren't, being in camp gives them experience for future
international play.
"They stand to be prominently displayed," Colangelo said.
The Americans will clinch a berth in Beijing by finishing in the
top two in the qualifier. Boozer, back with USA Basketball after
playing for the bronze-medal team in the 2004 Olympics, wants to do
better than that.
"We want to send a message and a tone throughout the rest of
the world that we mean business," he said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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