Former St. John's forward Anthony Mason Jr. - who re-signed with the Sioux Falls Skyforce a couple of weeks ago - will now have a chance to represent the United States on the hardwood in the Pan-American Games, per Ridiculous Upside.
Mason can thank the NBA lockout for this bit of fortune. Of course, the NBA is not in direct control of the United States national team that competes in various tournaments and in the Olympics. But the two organizations are tied closely together through some financial backing from the NBA and the management. Jerry Colangelo, Suns owner, is the Chairman of USA Basketball, and other NBA honchos are part of the Board of Directors.
Or as Yahoo! Sports puts it:
As the managing director of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo answers to Stern, and the league – along with its ATM machine, Nike – has immense impact on the coaching staff and roster. How could the NBA allow its coaches – Team USA assistants Nate McMillan and Mike D’Antoni – to coach NBA players during a lockout?
The roster for the Pan-Am games will consist mostly of Development League players including Mason, Notre Dame's Luke Zeller, Connecticut's Jerome Dyson, and New York born forward Curtis Sumpter (who attended Villanova).
Training camp starts on October 14th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Games start on Wednesday, October 26th with a preliminary round game against the Dominican Republic, coached by Kentucky Coach John Calipari. That Dominican team features a number of American players familiar to New Yorkers and Big East followers, including Edgar Sosa, Francisco Garcia (Louisville), and Charlie Villanueva (Connecticut).