The 2015 United States Pan American Men’s Basketball Team roster was announced just about a week ago, and one of the name’s on the 22-player roster is Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. USA basketball will eventually cut down the roster to 16 players, all of which will compete in Toronto from July 21-25 at the Ryerson Athletic Centre in the Pan American games.
The 22 roster invites include: Ron Baker (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Bobby Brown (Dongguan Leopards, China), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Micah Downs (Avtodor Saratov, Russia), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Rico Gathers (Baylor), Isaac Haas (Purdue), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Malcolm Hill (Illinois), Ryan Hollins (Sacramento Kings), Keith Langford (UNICS Kazan, Russia), Shawn Long (Louisiana), Monte Morris (Iowa State), Taurean Prince (Baylor), Anthony Randolph (Lokomotiv-Kuban, Russia), Joshua Scott (Colorado), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), Melo Trimble (Maryland), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State) and Damien Wilkins (Indios de Mayaguez, Puerto Rico). The coaching staff is led by Gonzaga’s head coach, Mark Few, and also consists of Tad Boyle from Colorado and Mike Brown.
Michigan State Spartan fans most likely haven’t seen Valentine since their NCAA Tournament Finals loss to Duke. Valentine was one of the focal points of the Michigan State offense, averaging 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Spartans last season. Valentine’s senior season will be his last as a Spartan, looking to go at least one step further than last season.
Spartan fans can get a glimpse into next season by getting to Toronto and the Pan American games with Hipmunk.com. Flights to Toronto are offered through most major airline carriers. Watch Valentine contribute against some top competition from other countries for more than one game by reserving hotels in Toronto starting from $96.
For the tournament, Group A is made up of the United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, while Group B is made up of Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico. The last Pan American games was held in 2011, which was won by Puerto Rico, while Mexico took home the silver and the United States finished with the bronze medal.
The Pan American Games started in 1951 for men and has been greeted by mostly successful American teams in the past. Hosted every four years, the United States has accumulated eight gold, three silver and two bronze medals and an overall record of 87-15.