Former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony was named to the 12-man U.S. Olympic Team, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo announced on Saturday.
It is Anthony’s third selection to the Olympic Team. Anthony previously played on Team USA in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. Last season, Anthony averaged 22.6 points and 6.3 rebounds, leading the Knicks back to the playoffs for the second straight year.
Team USA won Olympic gold in 2008 after a disappointing bronze medal in 2004.
“In 04 it was just kind of thrown together,” Anthony said. “Now you can see the progress that USA Basketball has made over the years and how much thought and focus that they have put in building a program like this. It’s only going to get better.”
The team will be coached by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Syracuse will also be represented by Orange head coach Jim Boeheim, who was named an assistant. Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan round out the rest of the coaching staff.
Joining Anthony on the roster are Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), teammate Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), LeBron James (Miami Heat), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
Anthony is one of five players to return from the 2008 team. His advice to the newbies?
“Just to enjoy this journey,” Anthony said. “It’s been a great experience being a part of Team USA. This is my third one, and I still get excited about being a part of it. At the end of the day, I can say that I am a three-time Olympian. Not a lot of people can say that.”
Anthony played one season at Syracuse, where he led the Orangemen to the national championship. In his nine seasons in the NBA, Anthony has been a five time NBA All Star and has been named to the All NBA Second Team once and the Third Team four times.
Still, Anthony knows that the road back to gold will be difficult.
“Trying to defend any title is definitely hard,” Anthony said. “The rest of the world is definitely looking forward to playing Team USA, but we accept all the challenges.”Wesley Cheng