USA Basketball Wins By Forfeit

July 28, 2004

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - The USA World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team (1-0), which was slated to open preliminary round play Wednesday against Venezuela (0-1) at the 2004 FIBA Americas World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Tournament, was disappointed as the opposing team was unable to arrive in Halifax, Canada, in time for the tip off.

Because Venezuela, which is still attempting to make it in time for its Thursday contest, forfeited the game, the U.S. was credited with a 20-0 win. The United States will play its first game against Brazil at 2 p.m. PST on Thursday.

Among the players on the USA Basketball roster is Gonzaga University sophomore Adam Morrison.

The USA versus Venezuela contest was originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. PST tip. Due to Venezuela's flight delays, the game was rescheduled for 6 p.m. PST in hopes that the two teams would still be able to play. However, it was determined early in the evening that Venezuela would not arrive in Halifax in time for the game and therefore was forced to forfeit the game.

Puerto Rico (1-0) eclipsed Brazil (0-1) 101-96 in overtime to go up 1-0 in Group B. In Group A action this afternoon Argentina (1-0) downed the Dominican Republic (0-1) 83-57, while Canada and the Bahamas had a late Wednesday game.

"We wanted to get off to a good start, but not this way," said USA and University of Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson. "We would much rather have played the game. We've been working our butts off since July 16. We've been looking forward to tonight, and then to find out that we couldn't play the game ... it's disappointing. Our kids are chomping at the bit. But we'll go over tonight and participate in the opening ceremonies. Then tomorrow we'll get ready to play Brazil. Everybody came here to play five games and now we're just going to play four.

"We're going to practice tomorrow. Instead of a 30-minute shoot around we're going to lace them up. We're going to get into a game mind-set before the game tomorrow night."

"Venezuela has experienced some travel difficulties over the last 48 hours," said FIBA Americas president Rick Traer. "The latest information we have is that we're currently investigating an opportunity to bring them in on a charter from Toronto tomorrow. They're in Havana (Cuba) right now. Efforts are being made to get them into Halifax in time to play their game tomorrow."

Due to Venezuela's travel delays, the Puerto Rico versus Venezuela game has been moved to 6 p.m. PST

Sampson is being assisted on the sidelines by collegiate head coaches Tom Crean of Marquette University (Wis.) and Dan Monson of the University of Minnesota and former Gonzaga head coach.



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