Wizards first-round draft pick Richard Hamilton and Suns F Tom Gugliotta were injured at practice yesterday and might not play in the United States' Olympic qualifying tournament opener tonight vs. Uruguay in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Hamilton, a 6-foot-6 guard, sprained his right ankle. Gugliotta broke his nose and will wear a protective mask when he resumes play. Both are listed as day-to-day.
Hamilton and Fs Elton Brand and Wally Szczerbiak, all recent NBA draft picks, were not projected to play much, Coach Larry Brown of the 76ers said. Gugliotta was not expected to start.
The U.S. team, which features nine NBA players, needs to finish first or second in the tournament to qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The 10-team event includes teams from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The semifinals will be held July 24 and the medal games will be played July 25.
NEW HAWKS: The Hawks signed top draft choices Jason Terry, an all-American point guard from Arizona, and F-C Cal Bowdler of Old Dominion. Both signed three-year guaranteed contracts with a team option for a fourth year.
LOCAL FLAVOR: The International Basketball League's eight franchises selected territorial players prior to the league's inaugural draft Tuesday. The Baltimore Bayrunners selected G Shawnta Rogers and F Yegor Mescheriakov from George Washington and F Rodney Elliott from Maryland.