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Derrick White replaces Leonard on Team USA at Paris Olympics


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White, a Parker native, played college basketball at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and in Boulder.

LAS VEGAS — Derrick White was named to the U.S. men’s basketball team for the Paris Olympics on Wednesday as a replacement for Kawhi Leonard.

White averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists for the NBA champion Boston Celtics this past season.

Leonard missed 12 of the Los Angeles Clippers’ final 14 games this past season with right knee inflammation. USA Basketball said it, along with the Clippers, made the decision on Leonard’s status.

“Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas,” USA Basketball said in a statement Wednesday. “He felt ready to compete. However, he respects that USA Basketball and the Clippers determined it’s in his best interest to spend the remainder of the summer preparing for the upcoming season rather than participating in the Olympic Games in Paris.”

Leonard is a two-time NBA champion, six-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA player, but injury issues have been a recurring theme in his career.

He has missed 256 regular-season games over the last seven years, including all of the 2021-22 season with knee trouble. He appeared in 68 games this past season for the Clippers, his most since playing in 74 for San Antonio during the 2016-17 season.

“This is just my journey,” Leonard said earlier this week, discussing his injuries. “I can’t lay out the perfect script for me. Last year I tried to play as much as possible, felt great and at a certain period of time I couldn’t go. I tried the best that I could, but it’s just my journey. I don’t want to be in a situation that (I’m) in, but I’ve got to take it for what it is. And a lot of people are watching, supporters or doubters. But I motivate a lot of people, so I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Leonard — part of a 592-person Olympic team formally named by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee earlier Wednesday — had said earlier this week that his knee was fine and he was able to resume on-court training about three weeks ago to get ready for the Games.

“I’m ready to go,” Leonard said then. “I’m playing now so, I’m happy.”

A couple of days later, hours before the first U.S. exhibition game against Canada and one day before the team departs for Abu Dhabi — the first of two international stops for more games and practices before arriving in France for the Olympics — Leonard was gone.

That leaves the U.S., at least for the very short term, with 10 available players. Kevin Durant will not play against Canada because of a calf strain and could not compete in the team’s four-day training camp in Las Vegas that ended Tuesday.

Leonard had been invited to be part of USA Basketball teams in the past and had to decline for various reasons, primarily injury issues or long playoff runs.

“I always wanted to play against other talent overseas or just other basketball styles and players,” Leonard said. “It is one of the reasons why I play the game.”

When is the Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony?

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics will be held Friday, July 26.

Instead of being held in a traditional stadium, the Opening Ceremony will take the form of a 4-mile-long floating procession down the Seine River.

NBC will begin live coverage of the ceremony at 10 a.m. MT on Friday, July 26.

The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast on NBC, Peacock, NBCOlympics.com, NBC.com and the NBC/NBC Sports apps.

Mike Tirico, Kelly Clarkson and Peyton Manning will serve as hosts of NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage. “Today” hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb will also be part of the broadcast team.

When does competition start at the Paris Olympics?

Several athletic events will be held before the Opening Ceremony.

Handball, rugby and soccer matches are scheduled on Wednesday, July 24, and Thursday, July 25. Archery also gets an early start on July 25.

After the Olympic cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony, there will be 16 more days of competition featuring about 10,500 athletes from more than 200 nations.

Where will the Paris Olympics be held?

Eighty percent of competition venues are within 6.2 miles of the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Paris.

The Olympics will use historic locations throughout France for competition venues.

Some of the venues include Eiffel Tower Stadium for beach volleyball, the Palace of Versailles for equestrian, Roland-Garros stadium for tennis, and the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées for taekwondo and fencing.

Paris previously hosted the Olympics in 1900 and 1924, and will join London (1908, 1948 and 2012) as the only cities to host the Olympic Games three times.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Paris Olympic Games 2024



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Derrick White replaces Leonard on Team USA at Paris Olympics

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