Men's Basketball

    Wright, USA Win by Forfeit

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    July 29, 2004

    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Indiana junior men's basketball player Bracey Wright and the USA World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team was slated to open preliminary round play Wednesday evening against Venezuela at the 2004 FIBA Americas World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Tournament. Venezuela (0-1) was unable to arrive in Halifax, Canada, in time for the 10:00 p.m. (all times local) tip-off and was forced to forfeit the contest, as the U.S. (1-0) was credited with a 20-0 win. The United States will play its first game against Brazil at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 29.

    "It is disappointing. We don't get that rhythm that every other team gets," said Wright. "Everybody else is playing their games, they're all competing against each other tonight. To get a forfeit, we're a step behind everybody else. A win is a win. We'll take it however we can get it, but I would have rather played Venezuela. We know they're a good team. We wanted to play them to see where we stand. But a win is a win."

    The USA versus Venezuela contest was originally scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. tip. Due to Venezuela's flight delays, the game was rescheduled for 10:00 p.m. in hopes that the two teams would still be able to play. However, it was determined that Venezuela would not arrive in Halifax in time for a 10:00 p.m. game and therefore was forced to forfeit the game.

    "We wanted to get off to a good start, but not this way," said USA and University of Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson. "We would much rather have played the game. We've been working our butts off since July 16. We've been looking forward to tonight, and then to find out that we couldn't play the game ... it's disappointing. Our kids are chomping at the bit. But we'll go over tonight and participate in the opening ceremonies. Then tomorrow we'll get ready to play Brazil at 6:00. Everybody came here to play five games and now we're just going to play four.

    "We're going to practice tomorrow. Instead of a 30-minute shoot around we're going to lace them up. We're going to get into a game mind-set before the game tomorrow night."

    "Venezuela has experienced some travel difficulties over the last 48 hours," said FIBA Americas president Rick Traer. "The latest information we have is that we're currently investigating an opportunity to bring them in on a charter from Toronto tomorrow. They're in Havana (Cuba) right now. Efforts are being made to get them into Halifax in time to play their game tomorrow."

    Due to Venezuela's travel delays, the Puerto Rico versus Venezuela game has been moved to 10:00 p.m.

    The U.S. is competing against seven other teams from the Americas for one of the three FIBA Americas Zone qualifying berths for the 2005 FIBA World Championships For Young Men, which will be hosted next summer by Argentina. Featuring eight nations divided into two groups of four, the competition includes a preliminary round with round-robin play between teams in each group July 28-30. The top two finishing teams in each group will advance to the July 31 semifinals and the gold medal will be contested Aug. 1.




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