“When the finalists for spots on the USA Basketball team for the FIBA World Championship were announced Wednesday, the 76ers’ Andre Iguodala was among the 15 players who made the list.
They were the survivors of a camp that took place last week in Las Vegas, where USA coach Mike Krzyzewski and chairman Jerry Colangelo pared the team from 19 hopefuls.
Among the players who will not accompany the USA Basketball squad to New York next month for further training is Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, the NBA rookie of the year and a former American Christian star and Chester native who was sidelined after suffering a sprained left ankle on the first day of the Las Vegas camp.
O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies, Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats, and JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards also did not make the cut.
“I think I had a good week, so it wasn’t a surprise,” Iguodala said about getting the nod. “It’s just a great feeling to be a part of it.”
After USA ends its workouts in New York, which run Aug. 10 to 16, Colangelo and Krzyzewski will try to finalize a 12-man team. Colangelo said a couple of extra players are likely to accompany the team when it heads overseas.
Final rosters do not have to be submitted until the day before the World Championship tournament begins. The event will be held Aug. 28 to Sept. 12 in Turkey, with matches in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Kayseri. The winner of the 24-team event earns an automatic berth in the 2012 London Olympics.
Iguodala distinguished himself during the week in Las Vegas. He had 17 points on five of six shooting – three for three on three-pointers – with six rebounds and five assists in the USA Blue-White scrimmage that ended the camp.
Last season, Iguodala was good for 17.1 points, 5.8 assists and 6.5 rebounds for the Sixers. For his career, the six-year pro is averaging 15.9 points, 4.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds.
“He had a great week,” Krzyzewski said. “I mean, I thought he had as good as a week as any player in Las Vegas. He was really efficient offensively. We think he can really drive the ball.”
The coach said he is impressed by “Andre’s athleticism on the defensive end. He’s one of the best in the NBA. We see him more at the three or wing position, and being able to shut people down at that position.””