USA Basketball names roster for mini-training camp

Jul 17, 2007 - 2:35 PM COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) -- There will be a handful of new faces when Team USA aims to settle its roster for the FIBA Americas Championship.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and Detroit Pistons floor general Chauncey Billups were two of 17 NBA players that USA Basketball confirmed Tuesday would participate in an upcoming mini-training camp.

The training camp will take place this coming weekend in Las Vegas to determine the 12-man roster for the FIBA tournament, which will have two spots for the 2008 Beijing Olympics up for grabs when the event begins August 22.

"We are excited about the 17 players who will be attending this mini-camp," Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said. "This is obviously a very important training camp as it will be used to select the 12 players who will represent the United States in the August 22-September 2 FIBA Americas Championship which will determine the two teams from the Americas zone that will qualify for the 2008 Olympics."

Bryant will be available for Team USA for the first time since announcing his commitment to the club in 2005. The shooting guard missed the Americans' bronze-medal finish as the World Championship last year with a knee injury.

Bryant collected his second straight NBA scoring title with the Lakers last season, averaging 31.6 points.

Similar to Bryant, Billups was unavailable for the Worlds due to family issues. The 2004 NBA Finals MVP ranked ninth in the league in assists (7.2) this past season.

Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Michael Redd and Seattle SuperSonics top draft pick Kevin Durant are also new faces among a group that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd.

The coach is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who guided last year's World Championship team.

The FIBA Americas Championship, which will be held in Las Vegas, is one of five Olympic qualifying zone tournaments, featuring 10 national teams.

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