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Shooting for gold: Former UK star Cousins named to U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team

Collegiate All-American. NBA All-Star. Olympian.

Former Kentucky great DeMarcus Cousins was selected to the 12-man roster that will represent the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics as announced by Team USA Basketball on Monday.

 DeMarcus Cousins was named to the U.S. Olympic team Monday

DeMarcus Cousins was named to the U.S. Olympic team Monday

This is the first such appointment for Cousins, who participated with Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Cousins participated in all nine games en route to a perfect record and the gold medal. He averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals and shot a team-high 70.2 percent from the field in 13.8 minutes a game.

Cousins will be joined by Carmelo Anthony, Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.

Kentucky has a long lineage of success at the Olympics as 10 total players have earned a gold medal. Anthony Davis most recently captured gold at the 2012 Olympics. Davis was among the 30 finalists for a spot on the 2016 squad but removed his name from consideration as he recovered from offseason surgery. John Wall was also a finalist but withdrew his name from consideration after offseason surgery as well.

The U.S. will start training for the Olympics in Las Vegas and play exhibition games in Las Vegas, Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston before leaving for Rio. The U.S. will train against the USA Men’s Select Team, which features former Wildcats Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle.

Team USA’s opening game in Rio will take place Aug. 6 against China. It is slated to tip at 6 p.m.

From UK Athletics

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