A.I. And A.I. 2

Andre Iguodala is one of 27 players named today to the U.S. National Team by USA Basketball. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer )

Andre Iguodala is one of 27 players named today to the U.S. National Team by USA Basketball.

That's a prestigious step for the 76ers' guard/forward, joining a roster that includes nine returnees from the Olympic team that won the gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

Both Iguodala and teammate Thaddeus Young had been part of the National Team summer workouts. Young, though, was not among those selected.

The U.S. will build its World Championships team from within this group. The U.S. is part of Pool B with Slovenia, Brazil, Croatia, Iran and Tunisia, and will open the competition in Turkey Aug. 28 against Croatia.

The returning Olympians include Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski returns as the head coach.

''Special recognition and acknowledgement needs to go to the nine players returning from our 2008 Olympic team,'' said USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. ''They have demonstrated that they are the heart and soul of our program, and their commitment to continue to represent their country should not be overlooked.''

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NBA vice-president Stu Jackson, in an email message, confirmed that the Sixers' Allen Iverson remains eligible for Sunday's All-Star Game in Dallas.

Iverson, voted by the fans as a starter, will be appearing in his 11th straight All-Star Game, and will be the Sixers' first representative in the game since 2006.

Iverson, who will not play in tonight's game in Toronto, will have missed the team's last five games before the break as he has been attending to the illness of his daughter.

Jackson said Iverson's absence for personal reasons would not affect his All-Star status.

The Sixers have said that Iverson will rejoin them Feb. 16 against Miami in the Wachovia Center. A source familiar with the situations of the Sixers and Iverson said that Iverson intends to play in the All-Star Game.