Archive for Monday, August 7, 2000

U.S. tabs Collison for game with pros

August 7, 2000


Nick Collison soon will know what it's like to play in the NBA.

Collison, Kansas University's sophomore forward from Iowa Falls, Iowa, has been named to a USA Basketball Select Team that will take on the U.S. Dream Team in an Olympic tune-up on Sept. 2 in Honolulu.

The Dream Team is made up of NBA players.

The game between the collegians and pros will be televised on NBC. It's believed the game will begin at 5 p.m. Central, though details will be released later.

Collison also will take part in some practices against the U.S. Olympic Team in helping the 12-member squad prepare for the Sydney Games.

"He's really excited about getting a chance to go over there and play," Collison's dad, Dave, said Sunday night. "We were talking about the Olympic Team having Alonzo Mourning and guys like that. Some big, big guys. I said, 'Nick, make sure you duck when they swing those elbows,''' Dave Collison quipped.

"It should be a great experience for him and fun, plus some hard work."

USA Basketball has yet to release details concerning the roster of the U.S. Select Team. It's believed Collison is the only KU player to be named to the squad.

Collison and KU teammate Drew Gooden recently played on the USA World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Team that won the silver medal and qualified the United States for the 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young Men. The 6-foot-9 Collison averaged 8.8 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game.

He also was a member of the 1999 USA Men's Junior World Championship Team that earned the silver medal with a 7-1 record. He also played for the 1999 USA Men's Junior Select National Team that claimed a 107-95 victory against the International Select Team in the fifth annual Nike Hoop Summit. Also, Collison played for the 1998 USA Junior World Championship qualifying team, which went 6-0.

Members of the USA Men's Olympic team are: Ray Allen (Milwaukee), Vin Baker (Seattle), Vince Carter (Toronto); Tim Duncan (San Antonio); Kevin Garnett (Minnesota); Tim Hardaway (Miami); Grant Hill (Detroit); Allan Houston (New York); Jason Kidd (Phoenix); Mourning (Miami); Gary Payton (Seattle) and Steve Smith (Portland).

Former KU player Danny Manning, who recently was let loose by the Milwaukee Bucks, has yet to sign a contract with the Utah Jazz.

Kevin O'Connor, Utah's VP of basketball operations told the Salt Lake Tribune he believes the 34-year-old Manning will decided soon, whether to accept a $1.2 million salary cap exception.

Meanwhile, third-year Jazz player Jacque Vaughn of KU is considering playing for Utah, Orlando or Atlanta.

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