Hinrich Added to USA Basketball's Men's Senior National Team
July 12, 2006
Lawrence, KAN. –
Former University of Kansas basketball player Kirk Hinrich, now a member of the Chicago Bulls, has been added to the USA Basketball’s Men’s Senior National Team. Hinrich joins a star-studded cast of NBA regulars, including former Jayhawk standout Paul Pierce, looking to help the United States reclaim international superiority at the upcoming World Basketball Challenge 2006 (Aug. 11-15) and the FIBA World Championships for Men (Aug. 19-24).
“It’s an honor to be invited to represent the United States and play for USA Basketball. Our team has incredible talent and I look forward to doing anything I can to contribute to make the team as good as it can be. I love my country and the opportunity to bring home a gold medal is a dream come true,” said Hinrich.
A third-team All-American selection as a senior at Kansas (2002-03), Hinrich just completed his third season for the Bulls, where he started a career-best 81 games and averaged a career-high 15.9 points per game. He also finished the season averaging 6.3 assists (15th highest in the NBA), 3.6 rebounds and 1.16 steals per game while shooting career highs of 41.8 percent from the field, 81.5 percent from the foul line and 37.0 percent from 3-point. During Chicago’s six playoff games in 2006, Hinrich upped his numbers to 20.5 points, 7.7 assists. and 1.33 steals per game.
While at Kansas, Hinrich teamed with Nick Collison, now of the Seattle SuperSonics, to form one of the most formidable tandems in Kansas history. Hinrich currently ranks as Kansas’ third all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.429), third in 3-point field goals made (235) and attempted (546), third in minutes played (4187), fourth in assists (668), fourth in steals (206), fourth in games played (141), fifth in free throw percentage (.776), eighth in games started (118), ninth in scoring (1,753), 11th in field goals attempted (1247) and 12th in field goals made (615).
This will not be Hinrich’s first opportunity to play for his country. As a member of the 1999 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 107-95, Hinrich recorded seven points and added two assists and one steal in 10 minutes of action.
“Kirk is a terrific addition to our USA Senior Team,” commented USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He is an excellent passer and the kind of guard who excels in an up-tempo offense. He just completed his third NBA season and it is obvious he is getting better each season and his best is yet to be seen.”
Hinrich joins the 23 players USA Basketball named earlier to its historic 2006-2008 USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program. Previously named to the 2006-08 USA Men’s Senior National Team were: Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards); Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies); Chauncey Billups (Detroit Pistons); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Bruce Bowen (San Antonio Spurs); Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Antawn Jamison (Washington Wizards); Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks); Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns); Brad Miller (Sacramento Kings); Adam Morrison (Charlotte Bobcats); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Chris Paul (New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets); Pierce (Boston Celtics); Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks); J.J. Redick (Orlando Magic); Luke Ridnour (Seattle SuperSonics); Amaré Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns); and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat).
Krzyzewski was named head coach on Oct. 26, 2005, head coach of the USA Senior Team program for 2006-2008, and named assistant coaches are Syracuse University (N.Y.) and Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.
Hinrich will have his first chance to take the hardwood with his fellow Americans when Krzyzewski and his staff hold training camp in Las Vegas on July 19 and train through July 25. From there, finalists for the USA World Championship Team will reconvene in Las Vegas on July 31 for the start of the second phase of the team’s domestic training. The USA team will train July 31-Aug. 2 and meet Puerto Rico in an exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Aug. 3 at 10 p.m. (CDT). Their training will move to Guangzhou, China, where the team will train Aug. 6, and play two games as part of the China Basketball Challenge, facing China on Aug. 7 and Brazil on Aug. 8.
From Aug. 11-15 the team will participate in the five-team World Basketball Challenge 2006 that will be held in Seoul, Korea, at the site of the 1988 Olympic Games basketball competition – Jamsil Gymnasium. The Challenge features national teams from the United States, Italy, Korea, Lithuania and Turkey. The team’s visit to China and Korea will mark the first time that a USA men’s senior national basketball team comprised of NBA players has visited either country.
The team will depart on Aug. 17 for Sapporo, Japan, where it will play its preliminary round games of the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Men. The USA was placed into preliminary round Group D and was joined by Puerto Rico (wild card qualifier and ranked by FIBA #11), Slovenia (European Zone sixth-place finisher and ranked by FIBA #22), Italy (wild card qualifier and ranked by FIBA #6), China (Asia Zone champion and ranked by FIBA #14) and Senegal (Africa Zone runner-up and ranked by FIBA #30). Group D will play its preliminary round games Aug. 19-24 in Sapporo City, Japan.