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Olympic Weekend Preview July 13 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | July 13, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and the rest of Team USA Basketball will take on Brazil this weekend in Washington, D.C. 


USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s National Teams vs. Brazil, July 16, Washington, D.C.

The USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s National Teams will get a send-off night in the nation’s capital prior to leaving for Europe and the London 2012 Olympic Games. Both squads will play Brazil’s national teams Monday night at the Verizon Center.

The exhibition game will conclude a short training session in Washington for the men’s team. The men will move on to train and play exhibition games in Manchester, England, and Barcelona, Spain.

The women will begin a pre-Olympic training camp Saturday in Washington, then they will  move on for training and exhibition games in Manchester, England, and Istanbul, Turkey. They will play Great Britain Wednesday.

The men opened their Olympic preparation by defeating the Dominican Republic, 113-59, in an exhibition game Thursday in Las Vegas. Forward Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder led Team USA with 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Guard Deron Williams had 10 assists. The big story, however, was the absence of power forward Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin returned to Los Angeles with a knee injury and was replaced by University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis, the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

“I have to give a shout to my teammates,” said Durant, who led Team USA to a world title in 2010. “They did a great job of finding me. Everything felt like it was in rhythm.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s team is seeking its fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal. The United States features three women who in London will be playing in their third Olympic Games: Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi.

The games in Washington are a part of the World Basketball Festival, a series of youth basketball clinics, games and other community events in a collaboration between USA Basketball and Nike, Inc. A weekend of basketball in the nation’s capital also includes a number of basketball clinics and events benefiting American military families in the “Hoops for Troops” program. The women’s national team will participate in a basketball clinic Saturday and the men’s practice will be open to more than 3,000 military members and their families.

TV: U.S. women’s basketball team vs. Brazil, 5:30 p.m.; U.S. men’s basketball team vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN2


U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team vs. Bulgaria, July 14-18, Anaheim, Calif., and Los Angeles

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world, will face Bulgaria in a three-match challenge series in its final preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The matches will be held Saturday at Canyon High School in Anaheim and Monday and Wednesday at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.

Among the U.S. players on the Olympic roster are setter Lindsey Berg, middle blockers Foluke Akrinradewo and Danielle Scott-Arruda, outside hitters Megan Hodge and Logan Tom, opposites Destinee Hooker and Tayyiba Haneef-Park, and libero Nicole Davis.

Bulgaria, which advanced to the finals of the Women’s European League on July 5, will make its debut in the FIVB World Grand Prix in 2013.

Pan American Cup, July 9-14, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, led by a group of players who did not make the U.S. Olympic Team, won all three matches in pool play and advanced to the semifinals of the Pan American Cup in the Dominican Republic. Outside hitter Taylor Sander had a match-high 19 kills, one block and a team-high three aces in a 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22 win over Brazil Wednesday.

The United States also defeated Venezuela and Mexico in pool play. The semifinals are Saturday, followed by the medal round Sunday.

Women’s Pan American Cup, July 12-20, Juarez, Mexico

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team opened play in the Women’s Pan American Cup on Thursday with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-15 victory over Canada. Nancy Metcalf and Lauren Giggemeyer each scored 14 points.

The United States will play Puerto Rico Friday, Cuba Saturday, Colombia Sunday and the Dominican Republic Monday to finish out pool play. The tournament is a qualifier for the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix and the United States is three-time defending champion.

“Victory is always great,” said Stacy Sykora, a three-time Olympian who was playing in an international match for the first time since a serious bus accident in April 2011. “Canada is a very strong team and I am very happy for playing again."

Also in volleyball:

FIVB Swatch World Tour, Grand Slam Berlin, July 11-15, Berlin, Germany

FIVB Swatch Youth World Championships, July 11-14, Larnaka, Cyprus

Chicago Open, Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series, July 13-15, Chicago


ICF Junior/U23 Slalom World Championships, July 11-15, Wausau, Wis.

U.S. Olympians Caroline Queen and Casey Eichfeld advanced to the semifinals of their respective events at the ICF Junior/U23 Slalom World Championships. Queen placed 12th in women’s U23 kayak qualifying Thursday, and Eichfeld was 13th in men’s U23 canoe qualifying.

They are using the competition as a final preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, but on home water. The Junior/U23 Slalom Worlds are being held through Sunday on the Wausau River in Wausau, Wis. The competition features more than 300 athletes from 27 nations, including 21 U.S. athletes.

“It is great to see so many athletes and nations here in the United States for once,” said Eichfeld, a two-time Olympian.

Stealing the show Thursday was Zachary Lokken, who was in first place after qualifying for men’s junior canoe. 


ITU World Cup, July 14-15, Tiszaujvaros, Hungary

Jarrod Shoemaker will look for his second consecutive podium finish in the ITU World Cup this weekend, when the World Cup moves to Tiszaujvaros, Hungary. Shoemaker earned a bronze last week at a World Cup race in Edmonton, Canada, and Olympian Manuel Huerta finished fifth.

Also in triathlon:

USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series, July 15, West Des Moines, Iowa


U.S. Open National Championships, July 11-14, Henderson, Nev.

The U.S. Open National Championships will have an Olympic feel to it, partly because 2012 Olympians Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva will perform their technical routine Friday in an exhibition performance and then their new free routine Saturday. It will be their final showing before the London 2012 Olympic Games. Killman is a two-time USA Synchro Athlete of the Year.

Several members of the U.S. Junior National Synchronized Swimming Team are competing at the U.S. Open. Competition continues through Saturday.


Send-Off Party, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams, July 14, Larchmont, N.Y.

Larchmont Yacht Club in New York will play Saturday to the “Good Luck USA Send-Off presented by Maclaren.” The event is a celebration to send off the 16 Olympic and six Paralympic athletes who will represent the United States in sailing at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The event will be conducted by the US Olympic Sailing Committee and the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound.


ISF Women’s World Championship, July 13-22, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

The USA Softball Women’s National Team will open play Friday in the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship with a game against Venezuela. Team USA won its sixth World Cup of Softball championship in early July and advanced to the finals of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

“We’ve had a couple weeks of good competition leading up to this,” infielder Stacy May-Johnson said.

Following Friday’s opener, the nine-time world champion United States will play the Czech Republic on Saturday, Puerto Rico on Sunday, South Africa on Monday, China on Tuesday, Netherlands on Wednesday and Dominican Republic on Thursday. The playoffs will begin July 20, followed by the finals two days later.


IAAF World Junior Championships, July 10-15, Barcelona

Ajee Wilson, an incoming freshman at Florida State University, and Gunnar Nixon, a rising sophomore at the University of Arkansas, won gold medals this week at the IAAF World Junior Championships. The world juniors continue through Sunday at Olympic Stadium in Barcelona.

Wilson won the women’s 800-meter run Thursday with the best time (2:00.1) posted by an American junior since 1982. Nixon set an American junior record in the men’s decathlon, winning gold with 8,018 points. An American had never medaled in the decathlon at world juniors. “I can’t explain this feeling,” Nixon said. “Words can’t even describe. I feel so lucky. I feel blessed -- just to be here and be able to compete.”

The six-day event features athletes from 180 countries under the age of 20. The U.S. squad has 80 athletes, including Tyreek Hill, the world’s top junior at 200 meters; Aaron Ernest of Louisiana State University, 100 and 200 meters; Ashley Spencer of the University of Illinois, world junior leader at 400 meters; and Morgan Snow of the University of Texas, ranked No. 3 in the world in the 100 hurdles.

Also in track and field:

USA Masters Combined Events Championships, July 14-15, Shoreline, Wash.

Samsung Diamond League, July 13-14, London

TV: 8-10 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports


World Rowing Under-23 Championships, July 11-15, Trakai, Lithuania

Nick Trojan and Austin Meyer won their heat Thursday in lightweight men’s double sculls, and the men’s eight crew also won its heat to move on in the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Lithuania. The men’s eight advanced to the finals, in which it will face Australia, Poland and Germany. Trojan and Meyer advanced to the semifinals Saturday.

Among other U.S. rowers advancing to Saturday’s semifinals were Austin Hack and Dariush Aghai in men’s pair, and Carli Goldberg and Cara Linnenkohl in women’s double sculls. Several U.S. athletes were to compete in Friday’s repecharges. In all, 21 crews are competing for the United States.

Saturday’s finals will include women’s and men’s four, men’s four with coxswain, lightweight women’s and men’s quad, women’s quad, lightweight men’s pair and women’s pair.

Also in rowing: 

USRowing Club National Championships, July 11-15, Cooper River, Camden County, N.J.


Honkball Week, July 14-22, Haarlem, Netherlands

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will open play in the Haarlem Honkball Week tournament Saturday, when it faces Japan in the Netherlands. Honkball Week is an international baseball tournament. Team USA will also play Cuba on Sunday, Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Taiwan on Wednesday and Netherlands on Thursday. Medal-round games will begin July 20.

Team USA defeated the Dutch National Team 3-0 in an exhibition game played Thursday in Amsterdam. Pitchers Jake Reed of Oregon, Dan Child of Oregon State, David Berg of UCLA, Trevor Williams of Arizona State and Ben Grover of Oral Roberts combined on a three-hitter.


Show Jumping European Junior and Young Rider Tour, July 13-17, Hagen, Germany

U.S. riders Alise Oken, Annie Cook, Chloe Reid and Lydia Ulrich are competing this weekend in the CCSIOJY Hagen event, which is a part of the Show Jumping European Junior and Young Rider Tour. The foursome combined for a second-place showing last month at a Nations Cup competition in France.


USA Cycling Juniors Track National Championships, July 11-15, Trexlertown, Pa.

Nearly 400 of the nation’s best junior riders are competing this weekend in the USA Cycling Juniors Track National Championships in Trexlertown, Pa. Cyclists up to 18 years old will compete for 20 national titles in omnium, points race, individual and team pursuit, sprint, time trial, scratch race, keirin and madison. Winners in the 17-18 age division also have the chance to qualify for the UCI Juniors Track World Championships.

Matt Valencia of Los Altos, Calif., and Evelyn Korbich of New Triploi, Pa., were the first gold-medal winners at the event, capturing point races in the 15-16 age division. Valencia is a member of USA Cycling’s National Development Program.

Also in cycling:

Tour de France, June 30-July 22, France

TV: 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET Friday, NBC Sports Network; 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network; 8 a.m.-noon Monday, NBC Sports Network

Exergy Twilight Criterium, USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar, July 14, Boise, Idaho


World University Karate Championships, July 12-15, Bratislava, Slovakia

Shelby Konrad, female 68 kg-plus, and Chris Wellbrook, men’s 84kg, are among the U.S. athletes competing this weekend in the 8th World University Karate Championships in Slovakia. Other U.S. competitors include: Joseph Martinez, men’s kata; Alexander Andruzzi, men’s 60kg; Mark Honrales, men’s 67kg; David Muhammad, men’s 75kg; Tanya Baeza, women’s kata; Crystal Lee, women’s 50kg; Victoria Thurau, women’s 55kg; Sereen Askari, women’s 61kg, and Rebekka Feith, women’s 68kg.

Also in karate:

USA Karate National Championships and USA Karate Team Trials, July 12-15, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals, July 14-21, Fargo, N.D.

Competition begins Saturday in the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. The tournament is billed as the largest wrestling tournament in the world, and includes competition in men’s Greco-Roman and freestyle, and women’s freestyle. The finals for cadet women will be held Saturday night, following preliminary rounds. The tournament continues Monday with cadet Greco-Roman and Tuesday with junior Greco-Roman.

Also in wrestling:

U.S. Beach National Championships and World Team Trials, July 13-15, Rochester, N.Y.


U.S. Atlantis 7s, Victoria International 7s tournament, July 13-14, Victoria, B.C., Canada

Ryan Roundy, an All-American and captain at Brigham Young University, will be among 12 U.S. athletes playing for a developmental squad Friday and Saturday in the Victoria International 7s tournament in British Columbia. The American players are trying to win spots on the U.S. National 7s team.


Veles Cup, July 7-21, Kurgan, Russia

Champions in 13 Junior Olympic weight classes, from 101 to 189-plus pounds, are representing USA Boxing in this international competition in Russia. The tournament continues through next weekend.


Indoor National Speed Skating Championships, July 14-21, Lincoln, Neb.

The nation’s fastest inline and quad speed roller skaters will compete for national titles in the 2012 Indoor National Speed Skating Championships. The week-long event begins Saturday at the Pershing Center in Lincoln, Neb.

Also in roller sports:

USA Rink Hockey National Championships, July 7-13, Cumberland, Md.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.