Finalists For 2001 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Men Announced

June 4, 2001

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Following four training sessionsat the June 1-3 USA Basketball Men's Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., 16finalists for the 2001 USA Basketball World Championship For Young MenTeam, including UCLA junior-to-be Jason Kapono, were announced today by USABasketball's 10-member Men's Collegiate Committee.

'We had a very good talent level here. Particularly perimeter guys, guysthat can get to the basket and make shots and that's important ininternational competition. So I'm excited about this team,' remarked USAWorld Championship For Young Men head coach and Syracuse University (N.Y.)mentor Jim Boeheim. 'I think we really do have a team that can go over andrepresent our country. This championship is very tough every four yearsand we'll see the best in the world in this age bracket and it will be achallenge for us.

'When USA Basketball goes to play in any championship, there's really onlyone medal you're looking at - the gold medal,' added Boeheim of theexpectations for his team.

Along with Kapono, the list of 16 finalists for the USA World ChampionshipFor Young Men Team includes:

Troy Bell (Boston College / Minneapolis, Minn.),
LaVell Blanchard (Michigan / Ann Arbor, Mich.),
Carlos Boozer (Duke / Juneau, Alaska),
Caron Butler (Connecticut / Racine, Wis.),
Nick Collison (Kansas / Iowa Falls, Iowa),
Brian Cook (Illinois / Lincoln, Ill.),
Chris Duhon (Duke / Slidell, La.),
Reggie Evans (Iowa / Pensacola, Fla.),
Jared Jeffries (Indiana / Bloomington, Ind.),
Dahntay Jones (Duke / Hamilton Square, N.J.),
Jason Kapono (UCLA / Lakewood, Calif.),
Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's / Chester, Pa.),
Michael Sweetney (Georgetown / Oxen Hill, Md.),
Marcus Taylor(Michigan State / Lansing, Mich.),
David West (Xavier / Garner, N.C.) and
Frank Williams (Illinois / Peoria, Ill.).

Eligibility for the 2001 USAWorld Championship For Young Men Team is limited to any male who is21-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1980).'I'm just glad I had a chance to come out here and play for USABasketball,' said Kapono, the Bruins? leading scorer (17.2) last season,who was a finalist for the 2001 Wooden Award, an honorable mention APAll-American and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for the second year in arow. ' This was my first time playing for them so I'm just truly honored.

'Coming into trials, I just wanted to show them that I was one of thoseguys who would sacrifice my game just for the betterment of the team,'Kapono said. 'Ijust wanted to show them I wanted to play team basketball. I felt prettygood even though the air was different and there was a time difference. Ijust tried to play hard throughout the trials and prove to the coaches thatI should be on the team.'

Boeheim, Syracuse's successful and long-time head coach, will serve as headcoach of the 2001 USA World Championship For Young Men squad, and he willbe assisted by Ernie Kent of the University of Oregon and Phil Martelli ofSt. Joseph's University (Pa.).

The final 12-member USA team will be named during the team's July 22-26training camp in Dallas, Texas. The team will complete its training in theU.S. July 27-30 in Oakland, Calif.

The USA World Championship For Young Men Team will compete August 3-12 inSaitama, Japan, in the 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young MenTournament. Featuring 12 teams that have been divided into two preliminaryround pools consisting of six teams each, the United States is in Pool Bwith Argentina, Croatia, Israel, Japan and South Korea. The six teamscomprising preliminary Pool A include Australia, Dominican Republic, Egypt,Qatar, Slovenia and Spain.

Held every four years and originally designed for men 22-years-old oryounger, FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21-years-old or younger inDecember 1998 and changed the competition name to the World ChampionshipFor Young Men. The U.S. captured gold in the inaugural competition whichwas held in 1993 and known as the FIBA 22 And Under World Championship, andin 1997 finished fifth with a 6-2 record.

The USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee is chaired by Terry Holland(athletic director, University of Virginia) and consists of: NCAAappointees Boeheim, Rob Evans (head coach, Arizona State University), JimO'Brien (head coach, Ohio State University) and Tubby Smith (head coach,University of Kentucky), NABC appointee Oliver Purnell (head coach,University of Dayton, Ohio), NAIA appointee Ralph Turner (head coach, UnionUniversity, Tenn.), NJCAA appointee Dan Sparks (head coach, VincennesUniversity, Ind.), and athlete representatives Steve Wojciechowski (1995Junior World Championship team / assistant coach, Duke University, N.C.)and A.J. Wynder (1995 Pan American Games team / head coach, NassauCommunity College, N.Y.).

2001 USA World Championship For Young Men Team Finalists

Troy Bell G 6-1 176 11/10/80 2003 Boston College/Minneapolis, MN
LaVell Blanchard F 6-7 215 02/23/81 2003 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor, MI
Carlos Boozer F 6-9 265 11/20/81 2003 Duke University/Juneau, AL
Caron Butler F 6-8 230 03/13/80 2004 University of Connecticut/Racine, WI
Nick Collison F 6-9 250 10/20/80 2003 University of Kansas/Iowa Falls, IA
Brian Cook F 6-10 231 12/04/80 2003 University of Illinois/Lincoln, IL
Chris Duhon G 6-1 190 08/31/82 2004 Duke University/Slidell, LA
Reggie Evans F 6-8 245 05/18/80 2002 University of Iowa/Pensacola, FL
Jared Jeffries F 6-10 220 11/25/81 2004 Indiana University/Bloomington, IN
Dahntay Jones G/F 6-5 210 12/27/80 2003 Duke University/Hamilton Square, NJ
Jason Kapono F 6-8 206 02/04/81 2003 Univ. of California at Los Angeles/ Lakewood, CA
Jameer Nelson G 6-0 190 02/09/82 2004 St. Joseph's University/Chester, PA
Michael Sweetney F 6-8 260 10/25/82 2004 Georgetown University/Oxen Hill, MD
Marcus Taylor G 6-3 190 11/25/81 2004 Michigan State University/ Lansing, MI
David West F/C 6-8 232 08/29/80 2003 Xavier University/Garner, NC
Frank Williams G 6-3 205 02/25/80 2003 University of Illinois/Peoria, IL

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University (N.Y.)
Assistant Coach: Ernie Kent, University of Oregon
Assistant Coach: Phil Martelli, St. Joseph's University (Pa.)

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