Wright, USA Win by Forfeit
July 29, 2004Halifax, 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.
Check back soon