USA basketball names World Cup, Olympic roster pool

By Alex Jordan,

USA Basketball selected 28 players to be in a pool with a chance to go to the World Cup of Basketball in Spain this summer and the Rio Olympics in 2016 on Thursday.

Eleven players from the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal remain in the national team pool, reports the Associated Press. Some of the returning names include, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

New players added to the pool for 2014 include Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving and Damien Lilliard.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is back as coach of the American team.

The group includes the NBA’s top 10 scorers. Half of the players won gold at the Olympic or the world basketball championships. James, Anthony, Paul and Deron Williams all played on the last two Olympic gold medal winning teams. The roster for the 2014 World Cup will be made from this group of players.

"The roster itself is the strongest roster we've ever had," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told USA Today. "The excitement for coach and me is how we've brought these players through our infrastructure through the years."

The U.S. team will have to cut the roster down to 12 before the World Cup in Spain. If the U.S. wins the World Cup, they will automatically qualify for the Rio Olympics. If they don’t win the world title, then they will have to play in an Olympic qualifying tournament next year.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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