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Big 12 Athletes To Represent United States This Summer
July 01, 2013
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Two Big 12 men’s basketball student-athletes will represent their schools in summer basketball competition for the United States, it has been announced. Baylor senior Cory Jefferson has earned a spot on the final 12-member USA Basketball Men’s World University Games team roster, while Texas Tech junior Luke Adams has been selected to represent Team USA at the 22nd Deaflympics from July 26 to Aug. 4 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Jefferson will be the seventh Baylor player to play for USA Basketball, and the first since Lawrence Roberts played in the 2003 Pan Am Games. Brian Skinner is the only previous Baylor player to participate in the World University Games (1997).

"Clearly versatility, we have guys that can play more than one position, that's one of the great strengths we have," USA head coach Bob McKillop said. "I think we shoot the ball particularly well from a number of positions, and we've got guys who want to be teammates. Those two things, to me, are the biggest advantages that we have, or the biggest strengths for our team."

The USA team is coached by McKillop (Davidson), and he’s assisted by John Beilein (Michigan) and Frank Martin (South Carolina). The team will compete in the 2013 World University Games, which will be played July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia.

After departing for Russia on Monday, the USA team will practice July 3-6, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7. The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +7 hours from CDT) on July 7, followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8, Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10, Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11 and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.

Jefferson had a breakout season as a fourth-year junior in 2012-13, after starting just one of the first 55 career games over his first three years in Waco. He averaged 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while starting all 37 games and leading the Bears to the 2013 NIT Championship. A 2013 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, he earned a spot on the NIT All-Tournament Team after averaging a team-leading 21.2 points while shooting 71.9 percent from the floor during the Bears' 5-0 run through the NIT. Jefferson is the seventh player in program history to play for USA Basketball while at Baylor.

Adams, a 5-9 guard from Big Spring, Texas has appeared in 38 games, including seven starts, for Texas Tech over the last two seasons. He was born deaf and is one of roughly 42,000 adults in the U.S. to wear a cochlear implant and hearing aid. Adams was selected to the team by USA Deaf Basketball, a non-profit organization and the national governing body serving deaf and hard of hearing for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. He is the first Red Raider to appear on a USA national team of any kind since Jason Sasser played for Team USA at the 1998 World Championships.

Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith is no stranger to the national team experience. He was an assistant coach for Team USA at the 1999 Tournament of Americas and the 2000 Olympic Games, where he was a part of a pair of gold medal performances. He also coached the North squad to the gold at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival.

Adams is not only Red Raider representing their homeland. Teammate Kader Tapsoba is in his native Burkina Faso preparing for the 2013 FIBA Africa Championships, where he will represent his national team in August. Adams will begin training camp with Team USA in Frederick, Md., at the Maryland School for the Deaf in mid-July prior to its departure to Bulgaria.

The United States is one of 13 countries competing in basketball at the Deaflympics, joining Argentina, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. The United States has won the last 14 gold medals in men’s basketball at the Deaflympics, including defeating Lithuania in the gold medal game in 2009 in Taipei, Chinese Taipei.

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