DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings will be two of the 12 players representing the United States in the upcoming 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. The announcement was made late Friday night by USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo.
Joining Cousins and Gay will be Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Mason Plumlee, Derrick Rose and Klay Thompson. The last four cuts were Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver, Damian Lillard and Chandler Parsons.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” said Colangelo. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent – each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”
“The first thing is we are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “To select twelve was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as twelve, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward. I’m excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team.”
Krzyzewski’s coaching staff includes Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
Team USA leaves for Spain on Saturday and will complete its pre-World Cup exhibition tour on Aug. 26 against Slovenia on the island of Gran Canaria. The World Cup begins Aug. 30 and runs through Sep. 14. United States was drawn into Group C and will start preliminary round play on opening day against Finland in Bilbao. Other countries in the group include Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.