Suns' Marion says he will be part of Team USA

PHOENIX -- Shawn Marion says he will be part of the U.S. team being put together for this year's world championships and the 2008 Olympics.

The Phoenix Suns' All-Star forward said Monday that he has been told by the head of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, that he will be among those selected to the team.

"It's challenging, man, it's an honor and a privilege always," Marion told KTVK-TV in Phoenix before the team left for Orlando, "given the opportunity to go out and represent the country again, which I love doing."

Colangelo, contacted Monday night, stopped just short of confirming Marion's selection.

"I've spoken with Shawn some time ago and he certainly indicated he wanted to be a part of this thing," Colangelo said. "He's the kind of individual and player who personifies what you want to represent you."

Marion was part of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. That disappointing finish led USA basketball to turn the team selection over to Colangelo, the Suns' longtime owner who sold the franchise last year.

"We're going to represent the team the right way and that's what Jerry wants," Marion said. "I'm going to go out there and do what I've got to do. I'll fit in any system. I'm going to go out there and help this country and help this team win."

Colangelo is requiring a three-year commitment from the 20 or so players who will be named to the squad.

They will attend a training camp in Las Vegas this summer, then travel to China and South Korea for exhibition games before participating in the world championships in Japan.

Next year there will be another training camp, followed by a camp and more exhibition games in 2008 leading up to the Beijing Olympics.

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the only players publicly named to the team. Colangelo said he plans to announce the rest of the squad's makeup shortly after the All-Star break in mid-February.