With one week remaining before the opening ceremonies in Rio, Venezuela finalized their men's basketball roster Friday, and one Anthony Perez has made the 12-man cut. The team just finished a swing of friendlies through the United States to help coach Nestor "Che" Garcia whittle down his Olympic players, closing out their tour with a 80-45 loss to Team USA.
Perez joins Ole Miss track alum Antwon Hicks as two Rebel Olympians competing for countries other than the U.S. Phenom shot-putter Raven Saunders will also travel to Rio with medal hopes, as will her family who raised money in her hometown of Charleston, S.C. to help offset the cost of travel and hotels in Brazil.
Venezuela won the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City, but Perez failed to make the cut for that team. The Rio Games will be his first appearance for his native men's national team, which last played in the Olympics in 1992 in Barcelona. Here's the full Venezuelan roster, courtesy of FIBA:
Perez had a herky-jerky four years at Ole Miss, never fully playing up to Andy Kennedy's expectations for him (AK once called him one of the "greatest mysteries" he's ever coached). AP averaged 4.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in four seasons, a reflection of his limited minutes for long stretches of the year. He pulled more than 20 minutes per game in 2013-14 and 2015-16, so it'll be interesting to see where he fits into Venezuela's scheme in Rio.
Venezuela, which is the third seed in Group A, will open play in Rio on Aug. 17 against Spain, the second seed in Group B.
You can keep track of the group stage bracket and further elimination rounds here throughout the tournament.