Carter ready to light it up Down Under

All USA Basketball had to do was ask

Vince Carter decided on Friday to accept an invitation to replace injured Tom Gugliotta on U.S. Olympic team for the Sydney Games .

"He's going," Dave Haggith, a spokesman for the NBA Toronto Raptors, said. "It's just a matter of dotting the i's and crossing the t's. It doesn't become official until two days from now."

In a conference call on Thursday, the selection committee decided unanimously to offer the spot to Carter after Gugliotta was forced to withdraw because of reconstructive knee surgery. Carter received the invitation on Thursday night.

Craig Miller, spokesman for USA Basketball, said a contract and other forms were being forwarded to the player selected by the committee.

"This takes more than a day. We anticipate an announcement early next week," Miller said.

Carter was angered in January when USA Basketball passed him over in favour of Ray Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks.

After the snub, Carter went on a tear. He was the leading vote-getter for the All-Star game and won the slam dunk competition. Then he scored 51 points in Toronto's first appearance on network television, nearly had a triple double in a game in New York and won two games in a week with 3-point buzzer-beaters.

"Vince really earned it. They said he wasn't good enough," Toronto coach Butch Carter said. "When I talked to him about what it's going to feel like when he walks into the Olympic stadium during opening ceremonies, it brought a huge smile to his face."

Despite the January snub, the opportunity to represent his country was too much to pass up. Carter had planned on finishing up his degree this summer at the University of North Carolina, but he'll likely have to put those plans on hold.

"He's had to do a lot of rescheduling, so its something that's important to him," Haggith said.

Carter said talk of him making the Olympics has distracted him lately.

"It's tough to stay focused when people are putting emphasis on the wrong things," said Carter, who scored just 18 points on 4-for-16 shooting in a loss to Charlotte on Friday. "I can't think about it now. I'll worry about it when the season is over. I have enough problems with trying to win games and reach 40 wins. Sooner or later this will be over and I'll just worry about the Raptors."

The paperwork will be handled by his mother. She is taking care of Carter's business affairs after he split with agent William "Tank" Black. The agent is being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating securities laws.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat