- Illinois State Redbirds - November 30, 2015 - Rupp Arena - 7:00 PM EST - ESPN2
There’s no mistaking it now, Anthony Davis is headed to London for the 2012 Olympics.
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed Friday that Anthony Davis has been added to the Olympic team following the loss of Blake Griffin. Griffin torn the medial meniscus in his left knee and will undergo arthroscopic surgery.
“We’re very fortunate to have Anthony Davis available,” Colangelo said. “Anthony offers our team additional height and length, and this will be an incredible experience for him.”
Davis joined the team Thursday night for its exhibition game against the Dominican Republic, coached by John Calipari. He didn’t see any action until the fourth quarter, but he scored nine points in 10 minutes.
“I’m so proud that Anthony Davis is having this opportunity and I truly believe this experience will push him ahead in his career by years,” Calipari said. “The coaching and what he’ll learn from the players will be an enormous benefit.”
Although his role will likely be limited with Team USA, he will provide key depth for a thin front court.
“It’s sad to hear what happened to Blake,” Davis said. “He’s a great player and it would have been a great opportunity for him. (Thursday night) was a great feeling out here and I had fun. They (teammates) told me to go out there and have fun, relax and take deep breaths. Don’t think of it like there is pressure on you. It can really help me being around all these guys in this experience and playing in the Olympics fresh out of college.”
Despite his lack of experience, Davis’ credentials certainly warrant a spot on Team USA. This year’s No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft led Kentucky to its eighth national championship. In the process, Davis racked a handful of national player of the year awards and broke numerous records, including the NCAA freshman single-season blocked shots mark.
Davis and Team USA will play in four more exhibition games to prepare for the Olympics. The Summer Games in London start July 27.
“Whatever Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) wants me to do I am going to do,” Davis said. “I am going to look forward to the challenges, and I’m looking forward to going overseas and my first time out of the United States. I am looking forward to that and getting to mingle with some of the guys and getting to know them and their workout routines and how they get ready for each game. They are superstars and they are here for a reason, so I’ll just try to emulate what they do.”
Exhibition vs. Team USA Calipari’s final game as Dominican coach