CHICAGO — No Grant Hill, Gary Payton or Tim Duncan. Even Dominique Wilkins said thanks, but no thanks. With the NBA lockout in full force, the U.S. squad for the world championships has gone from Dream Team to Team Who?
USA Basketball released a list Tuesday of the 30 players invited to this week's training camp for the world championships. The biggest names? Some college kids and a guy who helped make long, baggy shorts and black sneakers cool as part of Michigan's Fab Five.
"We've been disappointed all the way along the line. But the players we have now are players who wanted to come," said Craig Miller, spokesman for USA Basketball. "These guys are players that never thought they'd get this opportunity. It's their opportunity to make their mark and be part of history."
Among those competing for a spot on the 12-man world championship roster are Duke star Trajan Langdon, a finalist for the player of the year award, and Big East player of the year Richard Hamilton, who flirted with turning pro before deciding to return to Connecticut for his junior season.
Mateen Cleaves, the Big Ten's player of the year, also made the list. So did former Fab Fiver Jimmy King, the CBA's 1998 most valuable player.
There are four current college players on the list, two who just exhausted their eligibility and 12 current CBA players, nine who played overseas and three who played both overseas and in the CBA.
The roster will be pared to 12 by the time training camp ends Tuesday at the Moody Bible Institute. The 1998 FIBA World Championships start July 29 in Athens, Greece.
USA Basketball initially chose 12 NBA players for its latest version of the Dream Team. But with an NBA lockout looming July 1, the NBA players threatened to boycott the world championships.
USA Basketball moved first, dumping the NBA stars on June 16 and announcing it would field a team of current college players, CBA players and Americans playing overseas.
USA Basketball had hoped to lure former NBA stars like Wilkins and Byron Scott. But both turned down the invitations, with Wilkins saying he didn't want to betray former teammates or their stance in labor negotiations with the NBA.
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Player P Ht. Team/League Wendell Alexis F 6-9 Alba Berlin (Germany) Ashraf Amaya F-C 6-8 Idaho (CBA) Chucky Atkins G 5-11 Cibona (Croatia) David Booth G 6-6 La Crosse (CBA) Earl Boykins G 5-5 Eastern Michigan Tim Breaux F 6-7 Idaho (CBA) Mateen Cleeves G 6-2 Michigan State Acie Earl C-F 6-11 La Crosse (CBA) Bill Edwards F 6-8 Virtus Rome (Italy) Kiwane Garris G 6-2 Grand Rapids (CBA) Richard Hamilton G-F 6-6 Connecticut Michael Hawkins C 6-0 Olympiakos (Greece) Bernard Hopkins F 6-7 Gran Canaris (Spain) Troy Hudson G 6-0 Sioux Falls (CBA) Nate Huffman C 7-1 Idaho (CBA) Tim Kempton C 6-10 La Crosse (CBA) Warren Kidd F-C 6-10 Stefanel Milano (Italy) Gerard King F 6-9 Siena (Italy) Jimmy King G 6-5 Quad City (CBA) Trajan Langdon G 6-3 Duke Randy Livingston G 6-4 Sioux Falls (CBA) Gerald Madkins G 6-4 Rockford (CBA) Richard Manning C 6-11 Rockford (CBA) Michael McDonald C 6-10 Grand Rapids (CBA) Brad Miller C 6-11 Purdue Jimmy Oliver G 6-6 Spain Jason Sasser F 6-7 Sioux Falls (CBA) Larry Stewart F 6-8 Turkey David Wood F 6-9 Rockford (CBA)