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In a history full of memorable USA Basketball moments for Arizona basketball players, this year is one of the best.
Arizona coach Sean Miller and freshman guard Allonzo Trier were part of gold-medal-winning Team USA at the FIBA U19 World Championships earlier this month in Greece. Kaleb Tarczewski, a senior center, begins play tonight for Team USA in the preliminary round of the Pan American Games in Toronto. He is the first Arizona to represent the U.S. in the Pan Am Games.
At the highest level of competition, with the senior U.S. national team, Arizona players and coaches have been part of nine U.S. national gold medal-winning teams dating to when Lute Olson, Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr were part of the successful 1986 FIBA World Championships team. Tarczewski can make it 10 at the Pan Am Games.
Andre Iguodala and Richard Jefferson have reached the highest plateaus as Olympians. Iguodala was part of Team USA’s gold-medal winning team in London in 2012. Jefferson won a bronze medal in Athens, Greece, in 2004.
With a new influx of talent Miller has helped to develop, not to mention his status as the U19 head coach, Arizona is bound to have more players vying for gold medals with U.S. national teams in the years ahead.
Here’s a list of Arizona players and coaches at the highest level of international competition:
2012 LONDON OLYMPICS TEAM (GOLD)
2010 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM (GOLD)
2006 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM (GOLD)
2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS TEAM (BRONZE)
2003 FIBA AMERICAS TEAM (GOLD)
2001 GOODWILL GAMES TEAM (GOLD)
1986 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM (GOLD)
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
Sean Elliott (1987/Silver)
Sean Miller (1991 at Pitt/Gold)
Damon Stoudamire (1993/Gold)
Loren Woods (1997 at Wake Forest/Gold)
The first slideshow displays Arizona players, including Trier this year, who have competed in international competition in the U19 category and younger. The following slides highlight Arizona players in international competition. You’ll want to see the last slide because it involves the leaders of the Arizona and ASU programs. ….
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
Pac-12 Preseason First Team: Tyrone Wallace (Cal), Gary Payton II (OSU), Jaylen Brown (Cal), Josh Scott (Colorado), Kaleb Tarczewski (AZ).