Wichita State guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet will try out for a spot on the Pan American Games roster for the United States in July.
Baker and VanVleet, both seniors, will attend training camp in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center from July 7-12. After training camp, the team will practice from July 13-16 in Chicago. The United States opens play against Venezuela on July 21 and plays Puerto Rico and Brazil in the preliminary round the next two days in Toronto.
Gonzaga’s Mark Few will coach the team. Former WSU assistant coach Tad Boyle, now coach at Colorado, and Mike Brown are Few’s assistants. According to media reports, Iowa State’s Monte Morris is also trying out.
While the roster of players is not final, USA Basketball usually invites 20-25 athletes to try out in Colorado. Most will be juniors and seniors, although professional players not under NBA contract are eligible. The roster limit for the Pan Am Games is 12 and coaches can be expected to take around that number to the practices in Chicago, although an injury or close competition at a position could cause them to keep an extra player or two.
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Baker averaged 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He shot 43.3 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three-point range. He earned second-team All-American honors from USA Today and was a finalist for two national Player of the Year awards, in addition to All-Missouri Valley Conference honors for a second season. VanVleet averaged 13.6 points and 5.2 assists. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors and honorable mention All-America from the Associated Press.
WSU has never had a player on a Pan Am Games team, according to the athletic department.
The Pan Am Games are held every four years with athletes from North, South and Central America. Eight basketball teams will compete in two groups with the semifinals on July 24 and the medal round on July 25. The United States last won a gold medal in 1983.