Brian Thornton and David Smith, both former UC Irvine standouts, have been named to the U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team, pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Upon approval, Thornton and Smith along with the rest of the nominated team and staff will represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games July 29 through Aug. 12 in London.
Thornton and Smith, who were key figures in UCI's first national championship team in 2007, become the first UCI student-athletes to be Olympians in the sport of men's volleyball. The Anteater duo made the 12-man roster which features athletes from eight different universities. UCI and BYU have the second most representatives behind Long Beach State's three players.
Thornton, a setter, earned second team All-America as well as All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors twice and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament in 2007. He is UCI's all-time assists leader (4,662). Thornton was a UCI Scholar-Athlete who graduated with a degree in sociology.