FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Arkansas guard and current Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson is one of 15 finalists for the USA Basketball World Championship roster, USA Basketball Senior National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced on Tuesday.
The players have been training for five days and will take a break before resuming practice next week.
The official 12-man roster competing Aug. 19-Sept. 3 in the FIBA World Championship must be submitted to FIBA at the technical meeting, which is typically held the day prior to the start of the competition.
The United States will depart on Aug. 17 for Sapporo, Japan, where it will play its five preliminary round games of the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Men from Aug. 19-24.
Joining Johnson as finalists are Carmelo Anthony of Denver, Gilbert Arenas of Washington, Shane Battier of Houston, Chris Bosh of Toronto, Bruce Bowen of San Antonio, Elton Brand of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kirk Hinrich of Chicago, Dwight Howard of Orlando, LeBron James of Cleveland, Antawn Jamison of Washington, Brad Miller of Sacramento, Chris Paul of New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Amare Stoudemire of Phoenix and Dwyane Wade of Miami.
Johnson was invited to the trials on March 5. He was a member of the 2000 Under-21 World Championship Qualifying Team that finished 4-1 and won the silver medal (injured and did not play in any games). He was also named to the 1999 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that participated in the 1999 Nike Hoop Summit Team and defeated a World Select Team, 107-95.
Johnson just completed his first season with the Hawks, starting all 82 games and averaging career highs of 20.2 points, 6.5 assists and 40.7 minutes. He also averaged 4.1 rebounds while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 35.6 percent on threes and a career-best 79.1 percent at the line. He was 18th in the league in scoring, third in minutes played (3,340), sixth in minutes per game, 14th in assists, 16th in field goal attempts and 17th in field goals made.
In 2005 for Phoenix, he played in 82 games for the third straight season, and averaged 17.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
In 2004, he was ninth in voting for the 2003-04 NBA Most Improved Player Award after averaging 16.7 points (37th in NBA), 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists (29th in NBA) and 1.1 steals while averaging 40.6 minutes (third in NBA). He was one of only 11 NBA players in 2003-04 to average more than 16 points, four rebounds and four assists, and eight of those players were 2004 All-Stars (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Ray Allen, Vince Carter, Baron Davis, Paul Pierce, Steve Francis). In 2004, he also led the NBA in minutes played with 3,331 minutes, the third-highest single-season total in Phoenix Suns’ franchise history.
In 2003, he averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. In 2002, he was an NBA All-Rookie second-team selection after averaging 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
He was selected by Boston with the 10th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft and was traded to Phoenix on Feb. 20 of his rookie season. He was traded from Phoenix to Atlanta on Aug. 19, 2005.
At Arkansas, he was a second-team freshman All-American in 2000 (Basketball Times), a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2000 and a second-team pick in 2001.
In his two years with the Razorbacks, he led the team in scoring both seasons. He averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals in 2000; and 14.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 2001.
Johnson averaged 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals for his career.
As a freshman, he helped the Hogs win the SEC Tournament, reach the NCAA Tournament and finish 19-15. As a sophomore, Arkansas was 20-11 and again played in the NCAA Tournament.