As mentioned at this very site earlier in the week, the 2011 Pan-Am Games will feature a roster made up of players comprised of players from of the NBA Development League due to the ongoing NBA lockout. Team USA announced its full 21-man training camp roster on Tuesday morning.
The Pan-Am games certainly aren't the most high-caliber basketball tournament of the summer considering EuroBasket, the FIBA Americas and other Olympic Qualifiers that were held earlier in the year. the fact that it will be comprised solely of D-League talent has your's truly intrigued, however.
"I think the overall depth of the 21 guys and the versatility they have to play multiple positions will be a great asset for the team," Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said of the team he'll coach at the Pan-Am Games. "Also, the wealth of experience these players have had both in the NBA D-League and overseas will be very beneficial. We are looking forward to getting training camp started in Tulsa to see these 21 players compete for a roster spots."
Along with Tibbetts and assistant Dale Osborne of the Tulsa 66ers, Randy Livingston of the Idaho Stampede and Brad Jones of the Austin Toros, the entire Team USA roster will also be made up of players that have already committed to play in the D-League for the upcoming season. Interestingly enough, some players have actually returned or signed for the first time to play in the NBA's official minor league after previously spending their careers in Europe.
The Pan-Am Games will feature the first active competition for Brian Butch, the former D-League big man that suffered a terrifying knee injury while playing for the Denver Nuggets at the 2010 Summer League after being called up by the team to end the 2009-10 season. Other notable players include Dayton rookie Chris Wright, former Villanova standout Curtis Sumpter and Chris Daniels, a 6-foot-11 big man that has starred in Korea for the past three seasons.
Among the top returning players to the D-League signed on to play in the Pan-Am games are Erie BayHawks guard Blake Ahearn, Matt Rogers and Justin Dentmon of the Texas Legends, the Dakota Wizards' Renaldo Major and point guards Donald Sloan and Walker Russell, Jr.
A full roster of the training camp roster, slated to begin on October 14, is included below. The actual tournament begins on October 26 when Team USA takes on the Dominican Republic.
|NAME||POS||HGT||WGT||DOB||2010-11 TEAM / COLLEGE|
|Blake Ahearn||G||6-2||190||5/27/84||Erie BayHawks / Missouri State '07|
|Brian Butch||C||6-11||240||12/22/84||Injured / Wisconsin '08|
|Chris Daniels||C||6-11||260||4/19/84||KCC Egis (South Korea) / Texas A&M-Corpus Christi '08|
|Justin Dentmon||G||6-0||185||9/5/85||Texas Legends / Washington '09|
|Jerome Dyson||G||6-3||180||5/1/87||Tilsa 66ers / Connecticut '10|
|Moses Ehambe||G||6-6||200||5/22/86||Iowa Energy / Oral Roberts '08|
|Anthony Goods||G||6-3||200||6/21/87||Dakota Wizards / Stanford '09|
|Ron Howard||F||6-5||200||11/14/82||Fort Wayne Mad Ants / Valpariso '06|
|Marcus Lewis||F||6-8||245||9/5/86||Tulsa 66ers / Oral Roberts '09|
|Leo Lyons||F||6-9||240||5/6/87||Austin Toros / Missouri '09|
|Renaldo Major||F||6-6||210||5/7/82||Dakota Wizards / Fresno State '04|
|Anthony Mason Jr.||G||6-7||210||1/25/87||Sioux Falls Skyforce / St. John's '10|
|Matt Rogers||F/C||6-11||225||12/3/87||Texas Legends / S.W. Baptist '10|
|Walker Russell||G||6-0||175||10/6/82||Fort Wayne Mad Ants / Jacksonville State '06|
|Donald Sloan||G||6-3||205||1/15/88||Reno Bighorns / Texas A&M '10|
|Gregory Stiemsma||C||6-11||260||9/26/85||Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia) / Wisconsin '09|
|Curtis Sumpter||F||6-7||220||1/30/84||Maroussi BC (Greece) / Villanova '07|
|Lance Thomas||F||6-8||225||8/24/88||Austin Toros / Duke '10|
|Curtis Withers||F||6-8||245||9/2/84||Angeles de Puebla (Mexico) / Charlotte '06|
|Chris Wright||F||6-8||226||9/30/88||University of Dayton '11|
|Luke Zeller||C||6-11||245||4/7/87||Bakersvield Jam / Notre Dame '09|
|Head Coach: Nate Tibbetts, Tulsa 66ers|
|Assistant Coach: Jermaine Byrd, Tulsa 66ers|
|Assistant Coach: Dale Osbourne, Tulsa 66ers|
|Court Coach: Brad Jones, Austin Toros|
|Court Coach: Randy Livingston, Idaho Stampede|
|Athletic Trainer: Tony Katzenmeier, Tulsa 66ers|
Team Physician: Stephen Foley, Sioux Falls Skyforce