Vince Carter Added to Olympic Qualifying Team
USA Basketball announced Monday that Raptors guard/forward Vince Carter has been added to the 2003 USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team. The 2003 USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team is scheduled to participate in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will be held August 20-31 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“It is a wonderful honour to once again be selected to participate in international competition,” said Carter. “I am excited to be joining such a talented collection of players and look forward to the experience.”
Carter fills a roster opening that was created when Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant withdrew after recently undergoing arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgeries. Carter’s selection is for the 2003 Senior National Team only, while Bryant will retain his roster spot on the 2004 USA Olympic squad if the USA qualifies.
Only the top three finishers in the 10-nation America qualifying tournament will earn a spot for the August 13-29, 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In addition to the United States, the other teams scheduled to participate in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament are Canada, Puerto Rico (host country), Dominican Republic, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
“USA Basketball's Senior National Team committee is very pleased to announce that Vince has accepted an invitation to play for the USA in this summer's FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament,” said Stu Jackson, Chair of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team Committee. “We are thrilled to have an exciting and versatile player like Vince back in a USA Basketball uniform.”
A member of 2000 USA team that claimed gold at the Sydney Olympic Games, Carter led the USA in scoring averaging 14.8 points, while adding 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals. He shot 50.6 per cent overall and 40.7 per cent from three-point range. As a high school senior, Carter made the 1995 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team and averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Carter started 42 of his 43 games last season and led the Raptors in scoring averaging 20.6 points. A four-time NBA All-Star, Carter has averaged 24.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his five NBA seasons.
He was named the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie First Team after averaging 18.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. He has also added All-NBA Second Team (2001) and Third Team (2000) honours.
The USA senior squad will train for nine days from August 10-18 in New York City for the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and will also play an exhibition game against the Puerto Rico Senior National Team in New York at Madison Square Garden on August 15.
The USA Senior Men’s National Team consists of Karl Malone (Los Angeles Lakers), Ray Allen (Seattle SuperSonics), Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets), Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs), Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers), Jermaine O’Neal (Indiana Pacers), Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic), Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings), Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers), Richard Jefferson (New Jersey Nets), and Nick Collison, (a 2003 first round draft choice by the Seattle SuperSonics).
Basketball Hall of Fame member Larry Brown (Detroit Pistons) will serve as head coach of the USA senior team, and named as assistant coaches were San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Clemson University (S.C.) head mentor Oliver Purnell, and University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams.