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Kyrie Irving named to Team USA roster, eligible to play in '14 World Cup and '16 Olympics

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 23, 2014
Irving, Kyrie shooting
Kyrie Irving was named to USA Basketball's 28-man roster on Thursday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Kyrie Irving was named to the Team USA Men’s National team roster on Thursday, making him eligible to play on both the World Cup team this summer in Spain and the 2016 Olympics.

Later tonight, he is expected to be named a starter for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game. Quite a day, although Irving wouldn't address the All-Star voting until the results are official. Once it happens, Irving will be the third Cavs player in team history voted as a starter, joining LeBron James and Shawn Kemp.

"If something miraculous happens later on, I’ll be ecstatic," Irving said, referring to the balloting. "Right now I’m happy to be on the U.S. Olympic team."

Joining Irving on the 28-man Men's National Team roster are LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson.

The only omission from the London Olympics is Kobe Bryant, who has retired from international play.

Inclusion on the 28-man roster doesn’t guarantee inclusion on either the World Cup or Olympic team, but Team USA Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski have used the World Cup team as sort of a feeder program to the Olympic team. That means veterans like James and Anthony won’t be asked to play this summer in Spain, but youngsters such as Irving and Lillard have an excellent chance to be chosen.

"It’s such an honor to be in such a great pool of players,"Irving said. "You look at the list of the veterans on the team and the newcomers it’s such great talent. I’m looking forward to going to camp and working hard with the team."

Irving will be reunited on the national team with Krzyzewski, who coached him for one season at Duke. 

"I’m not surprised with anything Kyrie is doing," Krzyzewski said. "I knew in high school he had not just special athletic talents, but special mental and people talents. He’s got the whole package. He’s grounded. Nothing that he does will surprise me."

Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller both attended a Team USA minicamp last summer, but both were omitted from the final roster. Both were always viewed as long shots to make the final roster. 

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