April 14, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - Former University of Arizona men's basketball All-American Mike Bibby was added to the U.S. Men's Senior National team, it was announced Monday by USA Basketball. Bibby is the sixth player on the roster for the United States club that will participate in the 2003 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Bibby, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard currently playing for the Sacramento Kings, joined 18-year NBA all-star Karl Malone on the 2003 U.S. Men's Senior National Team roster. The team will participate in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Aug. 20-31 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"I think it's an unbelievable honor for Mike," said USA head coach Larry Brown. "He's had a great deal to do with the success of Sacramento and everybody is aware of how good that team is. I think he'll be a wonderful addition to our team. He's a young, up and coming star. He's very team conscious and should fit in extremely well."
Bibby, who is competing in his fifth NBA season since leaving Arizona following his sophomore season in 1998 and after earning the 1997 national championship as a freshman, missed the Kings first 27 games in 2002-03 after under going foot surgery, but has played in 54 consecutive games since being activated Dec. 19. In addition to scoring 15.9 points a game, he is averaging 5.2 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.31 spg, while shooting 46.9 percent from the field overall, 40.7 percent from three-point and 86.3 from the free throw line.
Currently tied for seventh officially among NBA leaders for three-point percentage (.407), Bibby is also 15th in free throw percentage (.863), tied for 32nd in field goal percentage (.469), and is 40th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.24).
The spotlight of NBA stardom hit Bibby during last year's NBA Playoffs. In the Kings' 16 playoff games, he averaged 20.3 points. (17th among NBA Playoff leaders), 5.0 assists. (12th among NBA Playoff leaders), 3.8 rebounds, 1.44 steals per game (22nd among NBA Playoff leaders), played 41.3 mpg (17th among NBA Playoff leaders), while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from three-point range (17th among NBA Playoff leaders) and 82.6 percent from the free throw line. In Sacramento's seven-game series against Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, he averaged 22.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.4 apg, and 2.0 spg.
Plans for the 2003 USA Senior National Team call for the roster to consist of a core group of eight to nine top NBA players, who if the U.S. qualifies, along with the coaching staff are expected to represent the United States in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The U.S. team's remaining three to four roster positions will be filled by role players who could come from professional leagues here in the U.S. and abroad, from the U.S. college ranks, or other USA Basketball constituents.
On Feb. 13 the first four members of the 2003 Men's Senior National Team were officially announced and included Olympic gold medalists Ray Allen (Seattle SuperSonics) and Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets), the NBA's 2002 Most Valuable Player, Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs), and the NBA's current leading scorer for the 2002-03 season and the NBA's 2001 Most Improved Player, Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic).
One of only six players in Arizona history to score more than 1,000 career points in two seasons, Bibby closed his two-year collegiate career averaging 15.4 points, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He still ranks 30th on the Arizona career points scored list (1,061), fourth in minutes played per game (32.4), eighth in steals (164), and ninth in three-point field goals (144) and three-point field goal percentage (39.0).