Jeep Partners with US Olympic Basketball

London isn’t necessarily the spot for rugged, off-roading style SUVs, but we’re going to be seeing a few Jeeps in town during the 2012 Summer Olympics

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

Jeep is now the official vehicle of USA Basketball during the rapidly approaching Summer Games. The automaker will be turning to NBA stars past and current to get the word out.

Los Angeles Clipper point guard, USA Basketball Finalist and 2008 Olympic Team Member Chris Paul will serve as the Jeep-USA Basketball spokesman. While he’s technically just a candidate for the USA’s team this summer, Paul is a lock to be at the point for the team. Since he’s recognized as one of – if not the best – point guard in the league, the only way Paul doesn’t play in London is if he’s injured or opts out of the games.

Paul is joined by former NBA star, Michigan Fab Five member and current ESPN/ABC analyst, Jalen Rose in support of Jeep and Team USA. Both are featured in a series of behind the scenes vignettes focusing on preparation for London basketball, the make-up and performance of Jeep vehicles and the making of Jeep/NBA commercials.

As part of the USA Basketball partnership, Jeep will send the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from Detroit’s Jalen Rose Leadership Academy to a USA Basketball exhibition game in July. Jeep and USA Basketball also will hold a basketball clinic with the JRLA students and select members of the USA Basketball National Team this summer.

In conjunction with the USA Basketball announcement, Jeep also unveiled the newly designed special edition model, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition. The debuting vehicle will use the new V-6 Pentastar engine.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude edition includes a body-color hardtop with matching painted center sections on the front and rear bumpers. It takes eighteen-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels with black-painted spokes and polished wheel rings. It will prove to be one of the more striking Jeep designs of recent years.

Its exterior adds a Mopar black fuel fill door, a matte black “Jeep” grille badge and a black tone-on-tone hood graphic.

You’ll see black and red inside the vehicle, with the crimson accent stitching highlighting ebony leather seats, door panels, center arm rest, floor mats and steering wheel. Vent rings, steering-wheel spokes, door pulls and passenger-side dashboard grab handle and berber floor mats all appear in black, to provide an interior unique in Jeep-dom.

If you decide to pick one up, you can pick from Deep Cherry Red, Black, Bright White and Bright Silver Metallic, – all with an MSRP of $33,740.

For now, visitors to can try to win a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition through an interactive Jeep-USA Basketball themed design contest on the Jeep/USA hoops website. The contest begins on Monday, May 21 and runs through Monday, June 25. A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, June 25.