Thursday, August 16, 2007

Redd Talks About Team USA recently profiled and interviewed eight members of the current senior team, including Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Redd.

The 1999 team Redd broke into the national program with consisted of college players only. Looking back at that team, Redd turned out to be the best pro, with Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin the other success story, though Martin entered the NBA with much loftier expectations as the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft.

Highlights of the interview include Redd excitedly talking about playing for Team USA in the Olympics next year, and the intensely anti-American crowds he faced in Europe as a 19 year-old playing for the USA World University Games Team.

Here's an excerpt:

"In 1999 Michael Redd and the USA Basketball World University Games Team traveled to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and eventually won the gold medal with a perfect 8-0 mark. Of course it was the middle of the summer, the rooms were small and featured bunk beds that were a little small for basketball players, there was no air conditioning in the rooms or the arena and the crowds were definitely cheering against the Americans."

"What did you think about the international game when you were playing in the World University Games?
I felt comfortable. I felt really comfortable. Coach talks about how the game is more physical over there, which it is. We were in college, we were kids still. But we excelled, we won a gold medal. I enjoyed it, it was different going overseas. I had been overseas before, but this was different. From the Opening Ceremonies and everything, I'm sure the Olympics will be even greater. I'm looking forward to it. I look forward to playing against the best teams in the world.

What do you remember about the crowds?
They were hostile! We had pennies thrown at us and stuff like that. I remember playing Spain, we beat Spain and it was crazy in there. They were yelling ‘we hate Americans!' and all sorts of stuff, it was bananas. Then we played Yugoslavia in the gold medal game, we beat them and it was crazy during that game. I don't think we're liked very much overseas. They think we're arrogant and we have everything, but we just have to go over there and let our basketball do the talking."

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