Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer Jr. joined two of his Duke University teammates among the 16 finalists for the 2001 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Men Team in tryouts that ended Sunday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Boozer, who will be a junior power forward-center for the defending NCAA champion Blue Devils, will be joined by teammates Chris Duhon and Dahntay Jones when the team has its final training camp July 22-26 in Dallas. The team will be trimmed to 12 members at that time, then will head to Oakland, Calif., for a July 27-30 training camp before heading to Japan. The 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young Men Tournament takes place Aug. 3-12 in Saitama, Japan.
"I'm honored to be selected to be a part of the USA Basketball team," Boozer said in a press release from USA Basketball. "I think we all feel the same way to be able to represent, and we want to do what we can to go over there and get the gold."
The other players surviving the first cut were Troy Bell of Boston College, LaVell Blanchard of Michigan, Caron Butler of Connecticut, Nick Collison of Kansas, Brian Cook of Illinois, Reggie Evans of Iowa, Jared Jeffries of Indiana, Jason Kapono of UCLA, James Nelson of St. Joseph's, Michael Sweetney of Georgetown, Marcus Taylor of Michigan State, David West of Xavier and Frank Williams of Illinois. The team is open to player born after Jan. 1, 1980.
Last year, Boozer survived the first cut for the team, but was released when the team made its final cut before heading to the qualifying tournament in Brazil. Boozer said he used last year's snub as motivation as he tried to make this year's squad.
"Yeah, I was definitely trying to redeem myself from last summer," Boozer said, "coming back, working hard against these guys and trying to make the team.
"I wanted to be assertive on the boards. I had players fouling me, which showed that I was aggressive."