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  • USA Seeks Return to Olympics Hoops Glory


    Jerry Colangelo, new Managing Director of the USA Basketball Senior Men's National Team. 
    (ATR) The CEO of the Phoenix Suns NBA team has been put in charge of the menâ??s basketball team for the 2008 Olympics and vows major changes are coming.

    It's going to be drastically different," says Jerry Colangelo, named Wednesday to the Olympics job.

    Once dominant in international play, the U.S. team finished sixth in the last world championships and took the bronze in Athens.

    Colangelo has the official title of Managing Director of the USA Basketball Senior Men's National Team. He was announced for the job at a press conference in Phoenix held by USA Basketball president Val Ackerman.

    Doing away with the former 10-member selection committee, Colangelo will hand-pick the team, composed of both NBA players and top college athletes. He says he wants players who will commit to a two-year program that includes the 2006 world championships as well as the Beijing Olympics.

    â??It's a different game,â? Colangelo says about the need for extended international playing experience.

    â??As you prepare a team, you need players who can shoot the ball, pass the ball, understand the game, as much as
    The USA men's team finished third in the Athens Olympics. 
    you need players who are just athletic."

    Colangelo, 65, has been with the Pheonix Suns since the teamâ??s birth in the 1960â??s and is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.

    Sensitive to how the U.S. is regarded abroad, Colangelo says he wants to find players with good character.

    "The kind of people I want wearing a USA uniform are those we can take some pride in. I want good people and high character. I think that's very, very important."

    More Olympics news of the week in the April 29 issue of Around the Rings.Com, for subscribers only.