Per CSNNE — and I’m not pointing this out to lessen a significant accomplishment — Stiemsma earned the terrific honor somewhat by default:
“We made a commitment back in October that we would select two players from the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team and invite them to be part of the 2012 USA Select Team,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman, in a statement. “Greg [Stiemsma] and Lance [Thomas] were valuable contributors to the USA’s bronze medal showing at the 2011 Pan American Games and both earned their way on to NBA rosters this season and demonstrated they can contribute at that level. I’m pleased to have both players join the USA Select Team.”
Stiemsma’s come a long way from last season, when he was a 26-year old trying to make a living playing hoops in Turkey. Though USA Basketball was committed to adding two players from the Pan American Games Team, being added to the USA Select Team is quite an honor.