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Cousins Joins Exclusive Company

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Cousins Joins Exclusive Company

Center DeMarcus Cousins recently was named to the 2012 USA Men’s Select Team. Now, take a look at additional Kings players past and present who’ve participated in the National Team program.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has received and graciously accepted an invitation to participate on the USA Men’s Select Team.

The squad that was announced on Monday is comprised of top up-and-coming players in the League who will train against the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team during its July 6-12 training camp in Las Vegas.

Cousins previously gained USA Basketball experience as a member of the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team, and also took part in the 2007 Youth Development Festival, in which he averaged 9.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Contending with the Select Team will provide No. 15 – who is coming off a spectacular sophomore season in which he averaged 18.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game – the opportunity to train with many of the top big men in the NBA, currently including Tyson Chandler of the N.Y. Knicks, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as Select Team frontcourt teammates DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs, Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz and Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls.

Cousins is the third Kings player within the past five years to secure an invite to the prestigious USA Men’s National Team program – joining Kevin Martin, who was named to the 2008 Select Team, and Tyreke Evans, who was picked to 2010-12 USA National Team roster – and hopes to soon join a rich history of Sacramento stars partaking in international competition.

Mitch Richmond: “The Rock,” who had represented the bronze-medal-winning 1988 U.S. Olympic Team – averaging 8.9 points (48.3 FG%) – became the first Kings representative to play for Team USA, adding a gold medal to his trophy case in 1996.

After receiving a strong endorsement from Michael Jordan, Richmond played in all eight games in Atlanta, Ga., starting three, and finished fifth on the team in scoring (9.6 points per game), second in three-point field goals (11) and free-throw percentage (84.2), fourth in three-point accuracy (42.3%), and fifth in steals (10). The Sacramento legend scored in double-digits three times and poured in a team-high 16 points, along with five rebounds and three assists, in the preliminary-round finale against 1992 silver medalist Croatia.

On the heels of a superb Olympic showing, Richmond went on to record his finest NBA season in 1996-97, averaging a career-high 25.9 points per game (fourth in the League), a team-high 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.

Mike Bibby: Bibby – who competed in the 1996 USA Basketball Hoop Summit Team, recording seven points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals against an International Select Team in Charlotte, N.C. – was named to the 2003 Men’s National Team. The all-time Sacramento-era assist leader guided the squad to a 10-0 record, the gold medal and a qualifying berth for the 2004 Olympics at the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico.

The then Kings No. 10 shot 60.4 percent from the field and led all players in three-point accuracy (57.1 percent), while also ranking second on his team in assists (4.8 per game), seventh in scoring (8.7) and first in steals (1.5). Bibby recorded 11 points and seven assists in both the tournament opener against Brazil and the gold medal-clinching victory over Argentina.

Brad Miller: A member of the U.S. Team that won bronze in the 1998 World Basketball Championship, Miller, a two-time NBA All-Star, was selected to the 2006 USA World Championship Team.

The former Kings center averaged 7.4 points per game (72.2 FG%) as the Men’s Senior National Team cruised to a 5-0 record in the pre-tournament tour in Japan. Miller’s reliable outside touch and sound passing skills out of the high post were once again instrumental in the FIBA World Championship, during which he averaged 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest – including five points, eight boards and three assists in a win over Senegal – and helped lead his country to an 8-1 record en route to taking home his second bronze medal.

Tyreke Evans: Evans was added to the 2010-12 USA Men’s National Team in May 2010, joining an exclusive group of 31 players who would compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey and vie for a position on the 2012 Olympic Team. The Kings guard attended the July training camp, but was unable to participate after suffering an unfortunate ankle injury in the first practice.

Previously, Evans had played on the USA Junior Select Team which defeated a World Select Team in the 2008 Nike Hoop Summit, and won a bronze medal in the 2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, in which he averaged 29.8 points (second among all scorers) to go along with 9.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.8 steals per contest.

This summer, Evans has stated he will be training rigorously in L.A. against fellow NBA guards and working on his mid-range and long-range jumper.

Stay current with Kings.com throughout the offseason for additional Kings player updates, news and more.

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