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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Smith Center to host practice for USA Basketball Men’s National Team

Smith Center, security, tunnel
The Smith Center has also played host to President Barack Obama, with security measures seen here. Hatchet File Photo

Updated 1:24 p.m.

Before they head to the 2012 London Olympics, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team will hit the court in the Smith Center to practice before their exhibition doubleheader, along with the women’s national team, against Brazil at the Verizon Center July 16.

A media representative for USA Basketball said the practice would be closed to the public.

The national team’s decision to practice in the Smith Center comes after a major renovation of the University’s key athletic facility, home to the GW men’s and women’s basketball teams, the marquee programs of the Colonials.

The Brazilian Women’s National Basketball Team will also practice at the Smith Center prior to their July 16 exhibition match.

“We are excited and proud to welcome USA Basketball to George Washington,” athletic director Patrick Nero said in a release. “The generosity of the Smith family and countless others has transformed the Charles E. Smith Center into a state-of-the-art venue for all types of events. On July 15th the eyes of the basketball world will be focused on the Smith Center, and we’re thrilled to be able to show an international following what this university – in the heart of this world-class city – has to offer.”

The national men’s basketball team will announce its final 12-man roster July 7. Coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, with Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan serving as assistants, 16 players are currently vying for a slot on the team.

In addition to the USA Basketball practice, NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens and NBA standout Alonzo Mourning will host a “Chalk Talk” on campus for select guests, while Olympic Gold Medalists Swin Cash and Teresa Edwards will combine with Hall of Famer Bill Walton to host a “Hoops for Troops” basketball clinic following the conclusion of practice on July 15.

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