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UK freshman forward Anthony Davis may soon be able to add Olympiian to his resume with National Player of the Year and NCAA champion.
Davis and Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden have been added to the list of finalists for the 2012 USA Basketball National Team, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo announced Thursday. The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be this young and have a chance to represent my country,” Davis said. “This is a great opportunity and I’m excited to be a part of something like this.”
Davis played and started in all 40 UK games and as a freshman led the Wildcats to a 38-2 record, the Southeastern Conference regular season title and the NCAA Championship. The 6-10 forward averaged team highs of 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, while adding 1.3 assists and 1.4 steals. He shot 62.3 percent from the floor and 70.9 percent from the foul line. Named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to the title and averaging 13.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.8 blocks in NCAA Tournament play, the Chicago native recorded 186 blocks which is the most in the history of the SEC and an all-time NCAA mark for freshmen.
He won six National Player of the Year awards including the Adolph Rupp Trophy, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Basketball Times, Associated Press, Wooden and Naismith. In winning the 2012 Naismith Trophy, Davis became just the second freshman to ever capture the award. Additionally, he was selected the 2012 SEC player, freshman and defensive player of the year.
“After a lot of deliberations, after reviewing our roster, we think these two additions strengthen our National Team program immeasurably. James Harden probably is the sixth man of the year in the NBA, and Anthony Davis brings a dimension to our pool we don’t have. He’s young, but it’s exciting to think about the possibilities,” Colangelo said.
Davis has represented USA Basketball previously. As a high school senior he was selected a member of USA Basketball’s Junior National Select Team that competed in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit. Davis finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two block shots in 23 minutes to help the USA to a 92-80 win over the World Select Team.
USA Basketball announced on Jan. 16, 2012, a group of 20 finalists for the 2012 USA National Team from which the 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team would be selected. Four of the original 20 finalists have been lost to injuries, bringing the remaining total to 18, including Davis and Harden.
Story from UK Athletics. KyForward file photo.