Denzel Valentine Looks to Bring Home Gold in Toronto
Tonight in Toronto the USA men's basketball team will start it's tournament run for the 2015 Pan-American Games. They open against Venezuela tonight at 9:00 P.M. eastern time.
Team USA will look to capture a gold medal which would not only be an improvement from 2011's bronze medal in Guadalajara, Mexico, but also be the first gold medal in Men's Basketball in this competition since 1983.
Lansing native and Michigan State star Denzel Valentine is one of 12 men and six guards on the 2015 roster. While it's unclear who will start for Team USA right now, and how much Valentine will play in this squad, he is listed as the tallest guard on the team. Meaning if head coach Mark Few opts to go for a big lineup, expect to see Denzel (wearing #9 on this team) to be in the backcourt for sure.
The Detroit Free Press ran a piece on Valentine reporting his thoughts on playing for his country: “It meant a lot,” Denzel told USA Basketball about being one of 12 players selected to the team. “Not everyone gets a chance to be here and play with the best in the country. To be invited to play for a USA team is a big honor.
A forward thinking Valentine has is sights on the top of the podium: “It would mean a lot,” he said of winning gold. “That’s history, and when you have children, you can go back in the record book and show them that was your team that won the gold. That would be huge!”
The USA vs Venezuela game is set for a 9:00 P.M. start time and is the last game of day one's group play for men's basketball. The USA plays defending gold medalists Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Brazil on Thursday for group play. All games can be found on ESPN3.