Collison, a 6-9 senior-to-be from Iowa Falls, Iowa, joins Duke's Jay Williams as one of two alternates on a team comprised of NBA players which will compete in the 2002 FIBA World Basketball Championships For Men August 29-Sept. 8 in Indianapolis, Ind. As alternates, Collison and Williams will train with the USA team and participate in the team's two exhibition games. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team Committee.
"I'm very excited and honored to be named an alternate on the World Championship Team," Collison said. "It will be a great experience for me to play with and against professional players. I think there's a lot I can learn from them, and I expect that this experience will help me to improve a great deal. Playing against some of the best competition the world has to offer can't do anything but help me as a player, and it will allow me to learn from people who already have unbelievable experience."
A regular on USA teams each summer, Collison is making his seventh appearance on a USA Basketball roster. He previously competed for the U.S. World Youth Games Team (1998), the USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team (1999), the USA Men's Junior Select National Team (1999), the USA Basketball World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team (2000), the USA College Select Team (2000) and the USA Basketball World Championship For Young Men Team (2001).
Collison is coming off a season in which he was named honorable mention All-America and second-team all-Big 12 after averaging career-highs of 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. In addition, he shot a team-best 59.2 percent from the field and led the Big 12 with 2.2 blocks per game.
The third Jayhawk named to the USA Basketball 2002 Men's World Championship Team, Collison will join former KU standouts Raef LaFrentz (Dallas Mavericks) and Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) on the squad. Other members of the team include Ray Allen (Milwaukee Bucks), Elton Brand (L.A. Clippers), Antonio Davis (Toronto Raptors), Michael Finley (Dallas Mavericks), Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets), Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns), Andre Miller (Cleveland Cavaliers), Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers), Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers) and Ben Wallace (Detroit Pistons). The team will be coached by Milwaukee's George Karl, and he will be assisted by Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, Mike Montgomery of Stanford and Kelvin Sampson of Oklahoma.
The team begins training Aug. 17 in Oakland, Calif., then moves on to San Francisco, Calif. and Portland, Ore. before landing in Indianapolis for the tournament. Along the way, Collison will have the opportunity to participate in two exhibition games -- Aug. 22 versus China in Oakland and Aug. 25 versus Germany in Portland.
For more information on the USA Basketball 2002 Men's World Championship Team or on the 2002 FIBA World Basketball Championships For Men, please visit www.usabasketball.com.