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Carmelo Anthony’s request to play for USA Basketball denied, report says

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Carmelo Anthony, the all-time U.S. men’s Olympic leading points scorer and the only male basketball player with three Olympic gold medals, reportedly expressed interest in unretiring from international play for next month’s FIBA World Cup.

The interest was not mutual from USA Basketball.

“I love Carmelo,” USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo said at this week’s pre-World Cup training camp in Las Vegas, according to SI.com. “He made a great contribution. He was a very good international player. But for where we are and what we’re doing, that conceivably could have been a distraction. I understand why the request was made. He’s trying to reestablish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA].”

Anthony, 35, is a free agent and has not played in the NBA since his Houston Rockets tenure ended 10 games into last season.

Next year, Anthony will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player. Larry Bird owns the age record of 35 from when he played on the Dream Team.

Anthony announced his retirement from Olympic basketball, and it was assumed international play altogether, moments after the Rio gold-medal game.

“I know this is the end. This is it for me,” Anthony said on NBC on Aug. 21, 2016, adding later, “I think I’ve given enough to Team USA Basketball. As much as I’m going to miss it, it’s time to pass it along to some of the guys who was on our team this year, but also to the younger guys coming along and give them an opportunity to be a part of something great. So, for me I’m hanging these [shoes] up, USA Basketball-wise.”

In what has become custom for the World Cup, nearly all of the 2016 U.S. Olympians bowed out of the selection pool this summer. Two — Harrison Barnes and Kyle Lowry — are among the 15 national-team players in camp this week, after which the 12-man World Cup roster will be named.

The U.S. will qualify for the Olympics if it is among the top two teams from North and South America at the World Cup. If the U.S. fails to achieve that, it can still qualify at a last-chance tournament in 2020.

MORE: Pan Am Games basketball game forfeited over wrong jerseys

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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MORE: Ledecky, Manuel welcome Olympic decision after training in backyard pool

Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement