By Raymond Rolak
LAS VEGAS– The team will include 20 NBA standout players, counting six who are new additions to the 2019-20 USA Basketball Men’s National Team roster, USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced. These players will be the basis for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team training camp that will be used to select the 2019 USA World Cup Team. Colangelo went on, “We’re pleased with the players who will be attending the 2019 USA Basketball National Team Training Camp, and we feel we will be able to select a strong team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.”
The camp will be hosted on the campus of UNLV from Aug. 5-9. It will conclude with a USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game on Aug. 9 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Conducted every four years since 1970, the next FIBA World Cup competition will take place August 31 thru September 15, in China. Eight cities will host World Cup games in China- Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup was the 17th edition of the FIBA Basketball Championships hosted by Spain. Team USA, coached by Mike Krzyzewski went 9-0 in winning the gold medal over Serbia. The 2018-20 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.
“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” said Popovich. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility. Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult. But I look forward to working with all of the players, representing the United States and doing so in a manner that all Americans will hopefully rally behind.”
USA National Team members who are confirmed to participate in the 2019 Las Vegas training camp include: Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets).
Added to the 2019-20 USA National Team roster and also participating in the August USA National Team training camp are: Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) and P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets).
Eighteen of the 20 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, and the group includes five players who are U.S. Olympic gold medalists and five players have won FIBA World Cup gold. Barnes (2016), Davis (2012), Harden (2012), Love (2012) and Lowry (2016) have each captured Olympic gold, while Davis, Drummond and Harden were part of the gold medalist 2014 USA World Cup Team and Gordon and Love were members of the gold medalist 2010 USA World Cup Team.
Colangelo added, “The majority of these players possess prior USA Basketball experience, and we know all of them are committed to representing their country and doing so in the manner expected by USA Basketball.”
“Like past national team training camps, this group too possesses outstanding individual talents, while also boasting of excellent versatility and athleticism. We’ve been watching a lot of players during the NBA season and the six players who we’ve added to the National Team roster we feel are deserving of being part of our national team program.”
Since the formations of USA Basketball’s National Team program in 2006 by Colangelo, USA national teams have compiled a spectacular 88-1 overall record (FIBA competitions and exhibition games) and claimed top honors in six of seven FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions (through 2016 Olympics).
After Las Vegas, the selected team will take a short break and then reassemble in Los Angeles and train Aug. 13-15. They will conclude with an exhibition contest versus Spain at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Aug. 16. The official, 12-member roster for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Team will be announced on Aug. 17.
2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Notes
• Eighteen of the 20 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, and the group includes five players who are U.S. Olympic gold medalists and five players have won FIBA World Cup gold. Only Kuzma and Mitchell lack prior USA Basketball experience.
• Barnes (2016), Davis (2012), Harden (2012), Love (2012) and Lowry (2016) have captured Olympic gold, while Davis, Drummond and Harden were part of the gold medalist 2014 USA World Cup Team and Gordon and Love were members of the gold medalist 2010 USA World Cup Team.