Deron Williams makes U.S. roster for Olympic Qualifier

Deron Williams makes U.S. roster for Olympic Qualifier



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

By BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Kevin Durant will have to wait to wear the red, white and blue in international play.

The Seattle rookie was one of two players cut Monday night as the United States got down to the 12-player limit for the Olympic qualifying tournament that begins Wednesday.

SuperSonics teammate Nick Collison also was dropped when the Americans announced their decisions about two hours after practicing at the Thomas & Mack Center. The final roster needs to be submitted Tuesday, a day before the U.S. opens the FIBA Americas tournament against Venezuela.

"We knew exactly what we felt we needed in terms of adding certain components to our roster, and the good news is we were able to accomplish that," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said.

When Durant was added to the national team roster in May, it was thought that he was a pick for the future. Then he showed he was a legitimate candidate to make the team this year when he scored 22 points last month in the intrasquad game to close minicamp.

But the Americans were looking for more experience after the average age of the players on last year's world championships team was 24.5. This squad averages 26.2, largely because of the additions of veteran point guards Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups.

"With Kevin, one year in college and 18 years old and he's made giant progress and he's going to be one of the faces of the NBA and USA Basketball who will be considered next year because 10 months from now he's only going to get better," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Collison has played on eight USA Basketball teams, including one in the 2003 Olympic qualifier. He missed minicamp after getting married, but played well after joining the team for practices last week.

However, the Americans opted for the outside shooting of Michael Redd and Michael Miller, plus the strong defensive presence that Tyson Chandler and Tayshaun Prince provide.

"Nick wasn't involved from the very beginning, so to be this close to making it after being here for about a week shows what a tremendous job he did," Krzyzewski said. "This was an extremely difficult decision because for both kids you can make a case for either one."

The U.S. roster includes: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Kidd, Billups, Redd, Miller, Chandler, Prince and Deron Williams.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-08-20-07 2142MDT

Most recent Sports stories

Related topics

Sports

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast