Former UMass Big Man, Rhymer To Represent Virgin Islands At Tournament Of Americas
Aug. 22, 2007
ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands - Virgin Islands senior men's national team have been practicing hard over the last two weeks in preparation for the biggest tournament of their lives. The team has even gone out to look for stiff competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past weekend, the team participated in the Southern Roundball Classic in preparation for the 2007 FIBA Americas championship.
The V.I opens the tourney on Thursday when they take on the number one team in the world, United States. The game will be broadcast live at 11:00 p.m. on ESPN Classic.
The Virgin Islands, ranked 38th in the world, must also face Canada (ranked No. 16) on Friday August 24th at 6:00 p.m., followed by Brazil (17) on Saturday August 25th at 6:00 p.m. (NBA TV), and closes out the first round versus Venezuela (21) on Sunday August 26th at 4:00 p.m. (NBA TV). All times are Eastern Standard time.
"Although it doesn't matter what group you are in, we (Virgin Islands) seem to be in a tougher group," said Virgin Islands head men's basketball coach Tevester Anderson. "Most of the teams in our group have current or former NBA players on their roster." Anderson also spoke about Virgin Island involvement in the Championship.
"It's an honor for us to be involved in the FIBA Championships and I am happy for the players and for our country to be taking part in such a prestigious tournament. We have worked very hard to reach this point and must prepare to do our best when we get there."
Pool A has Argentina (2), Puerto Rico (13), Panama (29), Uruguay (30), and Mexico (34).
The top four finishers in each pool advance to the second round of the tournament.
The tournament's gold and silver medalists earn qualifying spots in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Teams that finish third through fifth overall will have a second chance to qualify for Beijing. They'll play in a 12-team qualifying tournament in July of 2008 which will determine the final three teams for the Olympics.
Tevester Anderson is head coach of the Virgin Islands Senior Team. Serving as assistant coaches are former UCLA director, Jim Harrick and Central High coach Donald Bough.
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