Drummond, Walker to USA Camp

Managing editor/Beat writer
Posted Jun 12, 2013


USA Basketball announced Wednesday that 27 players have accepted invitations to the men's national team mini-camp July 22-25 in Las Vegas. Former UConn players Andre Drummond, of the Detroit Pistons, and Kemba Walker, of the Charlotte Bobcats, are on the list.

Here's the press release from USA Basketball:

Colorado SPRINGS, Colo. (June 12, 2013) - Highlighted by 20 players owning USA Basketball experience, including one 2012 Olympic gold medalist and also featuring the last three NBA Draft No. 1 selections, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced that 27 players are confirmed to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men's National Team mini-camp that will be held July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Accepting invitations to participate in the 2013 USA Basketball Men's National Team mini-camp were: Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Demar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Ty Lawson (Denver Nuggets); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons); Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets); Larry Sanders (Milwaukee Bucks); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Recently named 2013-16 USA Basketball National Team head coach and Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski will direct the mini-camp. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University veteran coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.

"The group of players we have assembled for the mini-camp are extremely talented and very versatile. This is an important opportunity for each one of them because we will be evaluating which players will continue to be involved in future USA National Team training camps and teams," said Colangelo, who has seen USA National teams compile a 62-1 record since taking charge of the USA Basketball Men's National Team program in 2005.

"Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, and Andre Iguodala were all guys who played in our 2009 mini-camp and went on to play for the 2010 USA World Championship and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams that won gold. I'm sure it will not be much different this time around and some of the players involved in this mini-camp will be members of upcoming USA National teams.

"The majority of these players have prior USA Basketball experience including 10 members of last summer's USA Select Team that helped prepare the U.S. Olympic Team. This year is an important first step in the rebuilding of the USA National Team roster for the 2014-16 international competitions, and we believe we have compiled a roster of not only outstanding basketball talents, but individuals who will represent the United States in the manner we expect."

The invited players will assemble in Las Vegas on July 21, and will conduct daily training sessions July 22-24 (12:00-2:30 p.m. PDT) and close out the mini-camp with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, a blue-white intra-squad game on Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m. PDT at the Thomas & Mack Arena on the campus of UNLV. All USA practices will take place at UNLV's Mendenhall Center and are closed to the general public.

Tickets for the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase on July 25 go on sale June 13. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS or at www.UNLVtickets.com.

"This is an exciting group of versatile and very talented players," said Krzyzewski, the USA head mentor who has led U.S. teams to gold at back-to-back Olympics. "This group has a really good blend of experience, both with USA Basketball and in the NBA. The mini-camp will feature a lot of younger players who are emerging in the NBA and it will give us our first opportunity to see them at this elite level. I'm really anxious to get to work with them."

aSix-foot, 10-inch Davis heads the list of 20 players with USA Basketball experience having averaged 3.7 points and 2.7 rebounds a game as the youngest member of the gold medal winning 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.

Ten players – Cousins, DeRozan, Favors, George, Gibson, Hayward, Holiday, Irving, Leonard and Thompson, were all members of the 2012 USA Basketball Select Team that trained against the U.S. Olympic Team during its July 6-11 training in Las Vegas.

Players possessing USA Basketball team experience as high school seniors as members of the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that competed in the annual Nike Hoop Summit are Barnes (2010), Beal (2011), Cousins (2009), Davis (2011), DeRozan (2008), Drummond (2010), Holiday (2008), Irving (2010), Monroe (2008) and Wall (2010).

Walker and Zeller participated as collegians on the 2010 USA Select Team that trained against the gold medalist 2010 USA World Championship Team.

Selected to play on other USA Basketball teams were Beal (2010 U17 World Championship, 2009 U16 Championship); Conley (2005 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival-White Team); Cousins (2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival-Blue Team); Drummond (2010 U17 World Championship, 2009 U16 Championship); Hayward (2009 U19 World Championship); Holiday (2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival-Blue Team); Jordan (2007 U19 World Championship); Monroe (2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival-White Team); Thompson (2009 U19 World Championship); and Walker (2008 U18 Championship). Three players, Davis (2012), Irving (2011) and Wall (2010), were the No. 1 draft picks of the last three NBA Drafts.

The 27 players have a wide range of NBA experience. Conley, with six NBA seasons under his belt, has the most; two (Anderson, Jordan) possess five; four have four seasons (DeRozan, Gibson, Holiday, Lawson); seven are three-year veterans (Cousins, Favors, George, Hayward, Monroe, Sanders, Wall); six are second year pros (Faried, Irving, Leonard, Parsons, Thompson, Walker); and seven just completed their rookie campaign (Barnes, Beal, Davis, Drummond, Lillard, Waiters, Zeller.)

The USA mini-camp will feature the last two NBA Rookies of the Year selections. Lillard earned 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year honors, while Davis finished runner-up, Beal ranked third, Drummond was fourth, Waiters placed fifth and Barnes was sixth. In 2012, Irving took home Rookie of the Year honors, and Faried was third, Leonard was fourth, Thompson was sixth and Parsons was ninth. Additionally, Wall finished as runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.

All five members of the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie first team will attend the mini-camp, including Barnes, Beal, Davis, Lillard and Waiters, while Drummond and Zeller were second team honorees. The 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie first team members attending the training camp include Faried, Irving, Leonard and Thompson, while Parsons was a second team choice. Cousins and Wall were members of the 2011 Rookie first team, and Favors, George and Monroe were second team picks. In 2010 Gibson earned All-Rookie first team honors.

Additionally, Sanders finished third in the voting for the 2013 NBA Most Improved Player, Holiday was fifth, Parsons 10th, Thompson was tied for 12th and Anderson was tied for 15th.


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