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James Harden Named To USA Olympic Basketball Team

The Beard will now go for The Gold (Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)
The Beard will now go for The Gold (Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)

He fell short of the NBA's top prize, but former Arizona State Sun Devil James Harden now has a chance at the gold.

On Saturday, Harden was named to the United States' basketball team, one of 12 players who will be heading over to London to represent the country at the Summer Olympics. The Americans will be looking to defend their gold medal that was won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the fourth time in the last five Games that the gold has come stateside.

Harden will be just the second former Sun Devil to play for the United States in Olympic competition. As Doug Tammaro points out, Harden follows Joe Caldwell, who won gold in 1960 and Alton Lister, who did not get a chance to compete due to the boycott in 1980.

The United States will open the preliminary round of the Olympic tournament on July 29th against France, with the second game two days later against Tunisia.

This continues a fantastic year for Harden, who averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award. His stellar play helped elevate the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals, where they fell short against the Miami Heat.

Just 22, Harden's ascent to the basketball stratosphere continues, and we at House of Sparky have just one thing to say: U-S-A, U-S-A!

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