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Coach Mike Krzyzewski committed to Rio Games despite health concerns

'I'd like to clarify comments I made last weekend in Toronto,' USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.
By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 1:13 PM
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Mike Krzyzewski stresses he has "every intention" to coach Team USA in the Rio Olympics despite planning to have knee replacement surgery immediately after his Duke Blue Devils conclude the college basketball season.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo put out a statement Thursday night to clarify his earlier comments about concerns for Coach K's health.

"I'd like to clarify comments I made last weekend in Toronto," Colangelo said. "I fully expect Coach K to lead the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in Rio. I was aware that (Krzyzewski) planned to have knee replacement surgery immediately after Duke's season was completed, but at no time have Coach and I ever discussed him not coaching the USA national team this summer.

"I remain 100 percent convinced that there is no better coach to lead the U.S. as it looks to successfully defend its Olympic gold medal in Rio and represent the United States in a manner all Americans will be proud of."

Krzyzewski, 69, also reaffirmed his intention to coach USA in a statement Thursday.

"Immediately after the Duke basketball season is completed, I will undergo replacement surgery on my left knee," Krzyzewski said. "Our medical team here at Duke and I expect a full recovery following the rehabilitation process and I have every intention of coaching the United States national team in Rio at the 2016 Olympics."

Krzyzewski missed an Atlantic Coast Conference game against Georgia Tech on Feb. 2 after suffering an illness. He was admitted to Duke University Hospital, where he was administered several tests, including cardiac and stress tests.

In an interview with NBA TV during All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Colangelo said: "Certainly in the back of my mind I'm thinking about what ifs. I'm always concerned about people I love, and I love Coach K. You've heard my expression, 'We're joined at the hip,' and have been ever since we joined together back in '05. I am concerned about his health. I told him on the phone (recently) nothing is more important than his health. Not Duke basketball. Not USA Basketball. I hope and I pray that he can take care of his situations, whatever they may be, and that he's healthy and ready to go."

Krzyzewski has been USA's head coach since 2005, leading the Americans to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and two consecutive world championships. Gregg Popovich has been announced as Krzyzewski's successor.

Krzyzewski and others will pare down a 31-man USA roster to 12 players in June after the current NBA season. Olympic training camp is scheduled to begin in mid-July in Las Vegas.

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