1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials Invitees Announced
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May 8, 1998
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Sixty-three top collegiate and high school players have been invited to the 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials, the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee announced today. Thirty-three players will be competing for a position on the 12-member 1998 USA Basketball Goodwill Games Team, and 30 players age 18 and under will attempt to gain a spot on the 12-member 1998 USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team.
The 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials will begin Friday, May 29 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The first session will be held from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m (all times MDT) on May 29, and will be followed by sessions from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. The 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials will conclude with practice from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Finalists for the two teams will be announced on Monday, June 1.
The 1998 USA Goodwill Games Team will be USA Basketball's top men's collegiate team this year, while the 1998 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team will look to earn one of three qualifying spots from the Pan American Zone for the 1999 FIBA Men's Junior World Championship at the Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) Men's Junior World Championship Qualification Tournament, July 6-13 in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Four players who competed in the 1998 NCAA Final Four, Stanford University guard Arthur Lee (Los Angeles, Calif.) and forward Mark Madsen (Danville, Calif.), University of Utah guard Andre Miller (Los Angeles, Calif.) and University of Kentucky forward Scott Padgett (Louisville, Ky.), headline the list of invitees for the 1998 USA Goodwill Games Team. Also included among the USA Goodwill Games Team Trials invitees are Big Ten Conference Player of the Year Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State / Flint, Mich.), Big East Conference Player of the Year Richard Hamilton (Connecticut / Coatesville, Pa.), and Big East Conference Freshman of the Year Khalid El-Amin (Connecticut / Minneapolis, Minn.).
A quintet of players who competed on the 1998 USA Basketball Men's Junior Select National Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in San Antonio, Texas, will try to gain positions on the 1998 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team. Forward Jason Capel (North Carolina / St. John's At Prospect Hall / Frederick, Md.), forward Al Harrington (St. Patrick's / Elizabeth, N.J.), center Kevin Lyde (Temple / Oak Hill Academy / Forest Heights, Md.), forward Quentin Richardson (DePaul / Whitney Young / Chicago, Ill.) and guard Ray Young (UCLA / St. Joseph Notre Dame / Alameda, Calif.) each competed for the U.S. at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit March 29 in San Antonio. Also named to that team, but unable to compete due to an injury, was forward Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky / Dominguez / Compton, Calif.), who will try to gain a position on the 1998 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, as well.
Highly successful University of Minnesota head mentor Clem Haskins will serve as head coach of the 1998 USA Basketball Goodwill Games Team, and will be assisted by Eastern Michigan University head coach Milton Barnes and St. Joseph's University (Pa.) head coach Phil Martelli.
The 1998 Goodwill Games will be held July 19-24 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., and the U.S. will open play Sunday, July 19 at 1:45 p.m. (EDT) against Puerto Rico. The team will train July 5-12 in Minneapolis, Minn. before playing the 1998 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team, comprised of players from the National Basketball Association, in an exhibition game on July 14 at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.).
The USA will be looking for its first Goodwill Games gold medal since the inaugural Games in 1986. The U.S. has compiled a 15-5 (.750) record in the quadrennial Goodwill Games, winning a silver medal in 1990 and a bronze medal in 1994.
This year's competition will feature eight teams, including: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Russia, and the United States. The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four teams each and each team will play a total of five games at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y.
Longtime Syracuse University (N.Y.) head mentor Jim Boeheim will lead the 1998 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, which is open to any male athlete 18-years-old or younger (born on or after January 1, 1980). Assisting Boeheim will be newly appointed Arizona State University head coach Rob Evans and Oklahoma Christian University head coach Dan Hays. The 1998 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team will train June 25- July 3 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Of the 63 invitees, 19 have previous USA Basketball experience, including 14 who have competed on USA Basketball teams and five who have participated in previous USA Basketball trials. Padgett and Michael Ruffin (Tulsa / Englewood, Colo.) were members of the 1997 USA Men's World University Games Team that posted a 6-0 record and won the gold medal in Sicily, Italy, while 6-8 forward Brian Cardinal (Purdue / Tolono, Ill.) joined Miller on the 1997 USA Men's 22 & Under World Championship Team.
Guard Trajan Langdon (Duke / Anchorage, Alaska) was a member of the gold medal winning 1994 USA Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team and a member of the 1995 Men's Junior World Championship Team, while the 1998 USA Men's National Team Trials also include several alumni from the annual Nike Hoop Summit. Shane Battier (Duke / Birmingham, Mich.), Elton Brand (Duke / Peekskill, N.Y.), and Ryan Humphrey (Oklahoma / Tulsa, Okla.) were key members of the 1997 USA Hoop Summit Team that defeated the International Select Team, 97-90, while BJ McKie (South Carolina / Columbia, S.C.) was a member of the debut 1995 USA Hoop Summit squad that posted an 86-77 win over the International team.
Additionally, Hamilton, Miller, Padgett, Ruffin, guard A.J. Guyton (Indiana / Peoria, Ill.), center Lari Ketner (Massachusetts / Philadelphia, Pa.), forward Jamel Thomas (Providence / Brooklyn, N.Y.) and guard Melvin Watson (South Carolina / Charleston, S.C.) all competed a year ago at the 1997 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials. In 1996, Miller and 6-11 center Calvin Booth (Penn State / Reynoldsburg, Ohio) competed at the USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials, as well.
Four of the 10 finalists for the 1998 Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award will also attend the 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials: Capel; Harrington, who won the 1998 Naismith Player of the Year Award; Prince; and Joel Przybilla (Minnesota / Monticello / Monticello, Minn.), who will participate in the USA Goodwill Games Team Trials.