Durant named to U.S. Olympic Team
July 7, 2012
Durant will become the fourth player in Texas Basketball history to compete in the Olympics and the first since Albert Almanza represented Mexico in 1964. Durant also will be the third former Longhorn in the sport of Men's Basketball to compete for the United States in Olympic competition and first since Jay Arnette in 1960.
"We are all so happy for Kevin," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "For those of us who know him so well, we understand that this experience will not be about him as an individual. Kevin will be a great teammate and leader and will play any role asked of him, because his only goal will be to win a gold medal. I'm amazed at the way he continues to grow and develop and yet remain the same, grounded person who we have always known. I hope he never changes.
"The effect of Kevin Durant on The University of Texas Basketball program will last a lifetime," Barnes added. "Our school's motto is 'What Starts Here Changes the World,' and there's no doubt that Kevin will be doing that shortly on the world's biggest stage. Kevin is so much more than a basketball player, and he makes every Longhorn proud."
Team USA will begin preliminary round pool play in the 2012 London Olympics on Sunday, July 29 against France. Pool play continues through Monday, August 6. Quarterfinal games will be held on August 8, followed by the semifinals on August 10. The Bronze Medal game and the Gold Medal game are scheduled for Sunday, August 12.
Gilbert "Gib" Ford, a three-year letterwinner at Texas (1952-54) earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 1956 Melbourne Games. Ford, who had finished his playing career at UT in 1954, was 25 at the time of the Olympics and enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces. Ford played in all eight games and averaged 4.9 points per contest, as the Americans went 8-0 in Melbourne and posted a +53.5 points per game margin of victory en route to the gold medal.
A three-year letterwinner for the Longhorns (1958-60) who garnered All-America honors as a senior, Jay Arnette earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Arnette, who had just completed his collegiate eligibility, played in all eight games and averaged 2.9 points per contest. The U.S. squad went 8-0 mark in Rome and recorded a +42.4 points per game margin of victory en route to the gold medal.
Albert Almanza, a three-year letterwinner at Texas (1959-61), was a two-time member of the Mexican Olympic team. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, Almanza served as a co-captain and led the team in scoring (19.8 ppg) while helping Mexico to a 4-4 record and a 12th-place finish. He returned for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and again led the squad in scoring (14.7 ppg) while helping Mexico to a 3-6 mark and a 12th-place finish.
2012 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team Roster
Name Pos Current Team/College or High School Carmelo Anthony F New York Knicks/Syracuse Kobe Bryant G Los Angeles Lakers/Lower Merion HS (Pa.) Tyson Chandler C New York Knicks/Dominguez HS (Calif.) Kevin Durant G/F Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas Blake Griffin F Los Angeles Clippers/Oklahoma James Harden G Oklahoma City Thunder/Arizona State Andre Iguodala G/F Philadelphia 76ers/Arizona LeBron James F Miami Heat/St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (Ohio) Kevin Love F Minnesota Timberwolves/UCLA Chris Paul G Los Angeles Clippers/Wake Forest Russell Westbrook G Oklahoma City Thunder/UCLA Deron Williams G Brooklyn Nets/Illinois
Texas Basketball Players who have participated in the Olympic Games
Year (Site) Player Country Team Result 1956 (Melbourne) Gib Ford United States Gold Medal 1960 (Rome) Jay Arnette United States Gold Medal 1960 (Rome) Albert Almanza Mexico 12th place 1964 (Tokyo) Albert Almanza Mexico 12th place 2012 (London) Kevin Durant United States