Colorado. USA Basketball presented a list of 14 players who will participate during the America’s Cup qualifying round at the end of February in Puerto Rico. The group is led by NBA All-Stars Joe Johnson and Isaiah Thomas.
Both Johnson and Thomas also have previous NBA experience. Johnson was a member of the US team that won the bronze medal at the 2006 World Cup. Thomas was a member of the men’s basketball team in 2018.
The roster includes five other players with regular season experience in the NBA: Josh Boone, Trephon Graham, James Nonali, Dakota Matthias and Jordan Seibert. Matthias has appeared in eight matches for the Philadelphia Sixers this season.
Also on the team are Paul Atkinson, Kat Barber, Chris Daniels, Will Davis II, KJ Figgie, Rush James and Trichawn Thurman.
Former Milwaukee Bucks manager and now assistant in the NBA, Joe Bronte, will lead the team with Utila Harrington and Yale manager James Jones in the coaching staff.
Bronte said that USA men’s national basketball team manager Shaun Ford and staff “have put together a very talented and balanced roster with a mix of young and veteran players.”
Bronze medal in FIBA World Cup in the group and seven players with the regular season experience of the NBA.
This is our most experienced qualified team so far.
– American Basketball (usabasketball) February 2, 2021
“Joe and Isaiah have the most experience in the NBA, but there are many players with valuable professional experience to prepare them for this competition, even at the international level,” Bronte said. It would be exciting to see them come together to represent the United States.
The United States is 4-0 at AmeriCup and has already qualified for the tournament, which will be held in September 2022, which is the Americas FIBA region team tournament. The Americans won the Copa America seven times in nine matches.
Thomas and Johnson will not be the only players with ties to the NBA in the qualifiers in February. Jose Juan Praia promised to play for the Puerto Rican team.
The Americans will train from February 13-18 in San Juan, then play in the Bahamas on February 19 and in Mexico on February 20.