Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State’s Ron Baker named to U.S. team for Pan American Games

Wichita State’s Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet
Wichita State’s Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State’s Ron Baker was named Sunday to the U.S. basketball team that will compete later this month in the Pan American Games. His Shocker teammate Fred VanVleet did not make the final cut.

The official 12-player roster for the men’s basketball team was announced Sunday after the 16 finalists’ last practice at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The U.S. squad will play in the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, July 21-25.

Baker and VanVleet, both seniors at Wichita State, were among 16 who advanced before the final cut was made Sunday.

Joining Baker is former Kansas guard Keith Langford, who last played for the Jayhawks in 2005. Langford played professionally last season in Russia.

Baker, a Scott City native, has been an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection the last two seasons and averaged a team-high 14.7 points in 2014-15. He was also an honorable mention AP All-American last season.

Other collegiate players are: Virginia’s Malcom Brogdon, Louisiana-Lafayette’s Shawn Long, Baylor’s Taurean Prince, Arizona’s Kaleb Tarczewski, Maryland’s Romelo Trimble and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine.

The professional players on the team are: Bobby Brown (China), Ryan Hollins (Sacramento Kings), Anthony Randolph (Russia) and Damien Wilkins (Puerto Rico).

“It’s a group of hard-working guys who have done a great job in camp of really playing together and being unselfish,” said U.S. and Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few, in an online news release. “They came into camp with a great attitude and mindset to really work, and now we’ve got to start formulating and playing to our strengths. This is a group that’s got some versatility, and I think we should be able to play a couple different ways.”

The U.S. team is scheduled to train July 13-16 in Chicago at the Chicago Bulls practice facility.

The U.S. men have been placed into Group A and will play all three of its preliminary round games at 8 p.m. CDT, including Venezuela on July 21, Puerto Rico on July 22 and Brazil on July 23. Competing in Group B will be Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

The top two teams from each preliminary-round group will advance to the medal-round semifinals on July 24, while the third and fourth-placed teams will play for fifth-eighth places. The semifinal winners will compete for the gold medal on July 25, and the semifinal losers will play for bronze.

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