Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Three Wildcats to represent Team USA at Paris Olympics

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Kentucky men’s basketball alumni Anthony Davis, Devin Booker and Bam Adebayo will represent Team USA in Paris this summer at the 2024 Olympic Games, it was announced by USA Basketball on Wednesday.

The trio is part of a 12-man, 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team which will go for a fifth-straight Olympic gold medal when the event is held July 27-Aug. 10.

Kentucky’s three representatives lead all colleges, as no other school has more than one former player on the roster.

In addition to the UK trio, the 2024 U.S. National Team features Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Haliburton, Kawhi Leonard, Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum.

“It’s an honor to introduce the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team,” USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director, Grant Hill, said in a statement. “I’m grateful to these 12 men for their commitment to represent USA Basketball. The United States is home to some of the best basketball players in the world and I appreciate the vast interest in being part of this roster.”

Davis will be making his second Olympics appearance this summer, having won gold with Team USA back in 2012. The big man had one of the most storied seasons in Kentucky program history in his lone year with the Wildcats in 2012, leading UK to a National Championship while also winning National Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four.

During his 12-year NBA career, Davis has put together a long list of accolades. He is a nine-time NBA All-Star, a four-time All-NBA First Team selection, a three-time NBA blocks leader and a 2020 NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. Davis is one of just eight players in basketball history to have won an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal, joining Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Clyde Lovellette, Quinn Buckner.

Booker, an Olympian in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, also returns for his second games in Paris. He was the SEC Sixth Man of the Year during UK’s magical 2014-15 season, averaging 10.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, while also sinking 58 3-pointers. He won four-straight SEC Freshman of the Week honors and earned a league-high five overall awards. He was drafted 13th overall by the Suns in 2015.

An All-NBA First Team honoree in 2022, Booker is a four-time NBA All-Star and is averaging 27.1 points per game and 6.9 assists with Phoenix this season.

Adebayo will don the red, white and blue for the second-straight Olympic Games, after claiming gold alongside Booker at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He averaged 6.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in six contests as the U.S. eventually defeated France in the gold medal game.

In one season with the Wildcats, Adebayo was the only player to start all 38 games for a squad that won the Southeastern Conference Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight. He was an All-SEC Second Team and All-SEC Freshman Team honoree. Adebayo averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game before being selected 14th overall by the Heat in 2017.

A four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and three-time NBA All-Star, Miami’s Adebayo is averaging 19.3 points per game and a career-high 10.4 rebounds in the league this season.

The USA Men’s National Team will be led by head coach Steve Kerr along with assistants Mark Few, Tyronn Lue and Erik Spoelstra.

The U.S. is a part of Group C, and will face Serbia on July 28, South Sudan on July 31 and the winner of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico on Aug. 3, during the competition’s group stage.

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