BEIJING - Try out this starting five: Houston Rockets center Yao Ming,

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitski, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu

Ginobili, former Indiana Pacer/Golden State player Sarunas Jasikevicius and

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko.

All five have enjoyed standout professional basketball careers - four in

the NBA, with Jasikevicius seeing his best days playing in Europe.

The five will share another honor Friday night by carrying their

respective national flags in the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies.

That includes Kirilenko for Russia, Yao for China, Nowitski for Germany,

Ginobili for Argentina and Jasikevicius for Lithuania.

"There will be a lot of tall people in the opening ceremony [carrying

flags]," said Kirilenko. "Yao will be the funniest because the other Chinese

will look so small behind him."

Track athlete Lopez Lomong, once a child refugee from Sudan who specializes

in the 1,500 meters, will carry the U.S. flag, while a pair of

tennis stars - Switzerland1s Roger Federer and Chile1s Fernando Gonzalez -

will bear their national flags in the ceremonies.