University of Oklahoma sophomores De'Angelo Alexander and Kevin Bookout are among 52 of the country's top collegiate and high school basketball players who have accepted invitations to participate in the 2003 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials May 30-June 1 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee which is chaired by Terry Holland, former University of Virginia athletics director.
The USA Collegiate Committee will select finalists from the Trials for two USA Basketball squads - the 2003 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team and 2003 USA Pan American Games Team. Of the 52 players, 28, because they are older than 19 years old, will be eligible only for consideration for the Pan Am Games Team. Bookout fall into that category. The other 24 players, including Alexander, will be eligible for either the Pan Am Games or Junior World Championship Teams.
Bookout, a 6-8, 260-pound forward from Stroud, Okla., averaged 9.4 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game last year as a freshman on OU's 27-7 team. In Big 12 games, he averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 boards per outing. Bookout led the conference in field goal percentage with a .587 mark. A member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, he started all but one game on the year, yielding to Jozsef Szendrei on Senior Day.
Alexander averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 20.1 minutes per game last season. The 6-4, 215-pound guard shot .350 from three-point range and .728 from the free throw line. Alexander, who hails from Midwest City, Okla., was named to the Big 12 All-Reserve Team for his efforts.
The 52 invitees break down to include 27 players who completed their freshman season of collegiate eligibility in 2002-03, nine who were sophomores in 2002-03 and 11 who were college juniors. Two are high school seniors and three more are high school juniors.
The official 12-member USA junior team, which will be finalized during the team's June 24-July 6 training camp in Dallas, Texas, will compete July 10-20 in the 203 FIBA Men's Junior World Championship Tournament that will be held in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. University of Oregon mentor Ernie Kent will serve as the head coach and will be assisted by Georgia's Dennis Felton and Kentucky Wesleyan's Ray Harper.
The men's basketball portion of the Pan American Games, which will include an eight-team field, will be held Aug. 2-6 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Pan Am games are held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics. The United States will be directed by Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. Izzo will be assisted by Washington's Lorenzo Romar and Missouri's Quin Snyder.