BOSTON If Team USA brings home the gold in this summer's Olympics in London, Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma will know that he played a role in helping that come about.
The Celtics rookie has been added to the Team USA Basketball Select Team that will train against the USA Men's National team, beginning July 6-12 in Las Vegas.
Stiemsma was added in part because of his play with the 2011 USA squad that won a bronze medal during the 2011 Pan Am Games.
In addition, New Orleans' Lance Thomas was also added to the Select team for similar reasons.
"We made a commitment back in October that we would select two players from the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team and invite them to be part of the 2012 USA Select Team," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman, in a statement. "Greg Stiemsma and Lance Thomas were valuable contributors to the USA's bronze medal showing at the 2011 Pan American Games and both earned their way on to NBA rosters this season and demonstrated they can contribute at that level. I'm pleased to have both players join the USA Select Team."
Stiemsma was a starter for all five USA Pan Am games, averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. With the C's, he appeared in 55 regular season games and averaged 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-best 1.6 blocks per game which was second among NBA rookies. His impact hasn't been the same in the playoffs, in part because of injuries and soreness to both feet. The 26-year-old rookie has averaged 1.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and just 0.6 blocks in 17 playoff games.
In addition to Thomas, Stiemsma joins a USA Select team that includes the following players: DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs Pittsburgh); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors USC); Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz Georgia Tech); Paul George (Indiana Pacers Fresno State); Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls USC); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz Butler); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers Duke); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs San Diego State); Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks Harvard); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors Washington State); and John Wall (Washington Wizards Kentucky).