With Nick Johnson part of the World Cup Qualifying Team, as announced by USA Basketball on Monday, it is a good opportunity to take a look at the Arizona Wildcats’ history in international competition with Team USA.
After four practices, the official 12-man roster for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team was announced. Johnson and Team USA will compete in the third window of FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying. The U.S. will face Mexico (2-2) on June 28 in Mexico City and play Cuba (0-4) on July 1 in Havana.
Standing 4-0 and atop of the Group C first-round standings, the USA, coached by ESPN NBA broadcaster and former coach Jeff Van Gundy, is already assured of being one of the three teams from its group to advance to the FIBA World Cup Qualifying second round.
Johnson is the first Arizona player on a U.S. national team since 2015, when Kaleb Tarczewski played for the American team in the Pan American Games.
At the highest level of competition, Arizona players and coaches have been part of 10 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.
NEWS: USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team roster finalized for third @FIBAWC qualifying window
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 the talent Sean Miller has drawn to Arizona, and his status as the Team USA U19 head coach in 2015, Arizona should continue to be represented with U.S. national teams.
Here’s a list of Arizona players and coaches at the highest level of international competition:
2015 PAN AMERICAN GAMES (BRONZE)
2015 U19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (GOLD)
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)
TEAM USA U16, U17, U18 & U19
ARIZONA PLAYERS REPRESENTING TEAM USA IN JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
USA Men’s U19/Junior World Championships
Brian Williams (1986 with Maryland)
Khalid Reeves (1991)
Edward Stokes (1991)
Michael Wright (1999)
Mustafa Shakur (2003)
Aaron Gordon (2013) (MVP)
Allonzo Trier (2015)
USA Men’s U18
Michael Wright (1998)
Jason Gardner (1998)
Andre Iguodala (2002)
Jerryd Bayless (2006)
Stanley Johnson (2014) (MVP)
USA Men’s U17
Stanley Johnson (2012)
USA Men’s U16
Aaron Gordon (2011)
Stanley Johnson (2011)
2012 LONDON OLYMPICS
Andre Iguodala played in all eight of Team USA’s games (all wins en route to a gold medal) as a reserve. He averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds. Iguodala, a three-time champion with the Golden State Warriors, is shown pictured here with annual NBA Finals opponent LeBron James of Cleveland. Iguodala is 17-0 in international competition with Team USA.
2010 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
In the 2010 FIBA World Championships, Andre Iguodala led Team USA with 16 steals in the nine games played, all won by the Americans. During the gold medal run in Turkey, Iguodala shot 58.8 percent from the field and averaged 5.7 points and 4.6 rebounds a game.
2006 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Gilbert Arenas (wearing No. 10) averaged 3.8 points in four games during Team USA’s gold-medal run at the FIBA World Championships in 2006 at Seoul, South Korea.
2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS
Richard Jefferson was part of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that went 5-3 and finished with a bronze medal in Athens in 2004. Jefferson started all eight games at small forward and tallied 6.8 points and 2.8 rebounds a game.
RICHARD JEFFERSON & MIKE BIBBY
2003 FIBA AMERICAS OLYMPIC QUALIFIER
Mike Bibby was impressive in this Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico as part of Team USA’s gold medal team that went 10-0. Bibby shot 60.4 percent from the floor (29 of 48) and 57.1 percent from three-point range (16 of 28). He led Team USA with 15 steals and was second behind Jason Kidd with 48 assists. Kidd had 50. Richard Jefferson averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds.
2001 GOODWILL GAMES
Jason Terry averaged 7.2 points a game in a familiar role — off the bench — for Team USA in its gold-medal performance at Brisbane, Australia, in 2001. Terry was only two years into his NBA career at the time. He just completed his 16th season.
LUTE OLSON, SEAN ELLIOTT & STEVE KERR
1986 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lute Olson served as head coach and Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr were two of his players on the gold medal winning U.S. team at the FIBA World Championships in Spain. Kerr did not play in the championship game against the Soviet Union national team because he suffered a potential career-ending knee injury in the semifinals against Brazil. He was one of Team USA’s leaders with 14 points when his right knee buckled, tearing ligaments. Bill Wall, the executive director of the Amateur Basketball Association, said in Madrid that “there is a chance the injury could be career-ending” for Kerr. Of course, we know that Kerr not only continued to play, he was part of Arizona’s first Final Four team in 1988. He won five NBA titles as a player before coaching Golden State to an NBA title this year. Elliott, coming off his sophomore season at Arizona, averaged 4.6 points a game in Madrid. Olson is known as the last Team USA coach to lead a group of collegians to a gold medal in the highest international competition.
Team USA’s 1986 FIBA World Championship team that won the gold medal with Lute Olson (top, second from left) as head coach. Sean Elliott (sitting, second from left) and Steve Kerr (sitting, second from right) were part of the historic team, the last gold medal-winning U.S. national team comprised of only collegiate players.
SEAN MILLER & BOBBY HURLEY TEAMMATES
1991 WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
They are arch-rival but back in 1991, Miller and ASU coach Bobby Hurley were on the same U.S. team that competed in the World University Games in Sheffield, England. Miller is kneeling second from the left on the bottom in the photo above while Hurley is to the far right kneeling. Hurley led the gold medal-winning American team with 30 assists and 10 steals. Miller averaged 5.3 points a game (Hurley 4.3) and Miller made all 10 of his free throw attempts.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.