2011 World University Games Get Under Way Aug. 13
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Greg Mangano's quest for a gold medal at the 2011 World University Games begins this week. Mangano and the rest of the team that will represent the United States have arrived safely in China. They will play an exhibition against New Century, a Chinese professional team, on Thursday before the competition gets under way on Saturday with a game against Mexico.
"It's truly the greatest honor as an athlete to represent your country in a competition like this," Mangano said before leaving for China. "The chance to win a gold medal is incomparable to any other opportunity."
Mangano, a rising senior, has impressed Team USA coach Matt Painter during the two-week training camp.
"Greg gives us one of those guys that can go inside and outside," said Painter, also the head coach at Purdue. "His ability to shoot the perimeter jump shot is really going to help us. Anytime you have a guy with size that can move around and play different positions, in the international game, it's really going to help you.
"We will need Greg to be a runner, be a rebounder, be a defender and knock down the perimeter shot," Painter said. "We need him to show that consistency that he's shown as a player at Yale."
In all, 24 countries will compete in the international competition. The USA has been slotted into Pool D, along with Finland, Hungary, Israel, Mexico and South Korea. The red, white and blue will open play against Mexico at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13 (all times listed are China Standard Time, which is +12 hours from Eastern Time) and will then play Hungary at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 14; South Korea at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 15; Finland at 6 p.m. on Aug. 17; and Israel at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 18. Unfortunately it does not appear there will be any live stats or video.
Following the preliminary round, the top two placed teams from each pool will advance to the medal quarterfinals, which will be contested on Aug. 20. The semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 21, and the finals will be played on Aug. 22.
Mangano is coming off a season at Yale in which he finished ninth in the nation in blocked shots (3.0 per game) and 24th in rebounding (10.0 rpg.). He averaged 16.3 points and was a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection and earned all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Mangano led the Ivy League in rebounding and blocked shots and was second in scoring. He was the first Ivy player to average a double-double for the season since Harvard's Kyle Snowden in 1995-96. His numbers were even more impressive in Ivy games where he averaged 18.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, which both led the league.
Mangano, a four-time Ivy League Player of the Week selection, was dominant on both ends of the floor. His 85 blocks were the most in a season in school history and the third most in Ivy history. In addition, his 51 blocks in league games were a new Ivy record. He scored 20 points or more in nine games this season, including tallying a career-high 30 in a victory at Dartmouth. He led the Bulldogs in rebounding in all but four games and grabbed a career-high 17 at Brown.
In addition, he became the first Yale player since Chris Dudley in 1986-87 to average a double-double for the season.
Mangano is just the third Yale player to earn a spot on a USA Basketball roster. Gabe Hunterton '98 competed at the 1989 United States Olympic Festival and Ed Petersen '92 took part in the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival. The last Ivy League player to compete in the World University Games for the United States was Princeton's Bill Bradley in 1965.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The United States, which has claimed a medal in every World University Games since beginning play in 1965, has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 19 WUGs in which a USA Basketball men's squad has competed.
Overall, the USA owns a 131-8 won-loss record in World University Games play. Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen, Stacey Augmon, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Quinn Buckner, Tom Burleson, Ken Davis, Tim Duncan, Phil Hubbard, Allen Iverson, Mitch Kupchak, Karl Malone, Michael Redd, Mitch Richmond, Michael Silliman, Steve Smith and Jo Jo White.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity