Devin Booker practicing with NBA’s best at USA Basketball minicamp

Jul 27, 2018, 4:00 PM | Updated: 9:40 pm
Devin Booker, right, drives into Kevin Durant during a training camp for USA Basketball, Friday, Ju...

Devin Booker, right, drives into Kevin Durant during a training camp for USA Basketball, Friday, July 27, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker isn’t going to get a much better offseason experience than what he’s going through in Las Vegas.

Booker, along with 34 other players, is running through a three-day minicamp for the USA Men’s National Team in Las Vegas. The player pool is expected to feature all of the players that will be on the 12-player 2019 USA World Cup and 2020 U.S. Olympic teams.

The 21-year-old Booker is new to the pool.

“It’s been unbelievable,” he said on Friday. “I was on the Select Team two years ago. I think this situation I am in is the next-closest thing to the Olympic team (and) we’ve got the World Cup next year.”

How much better does it get for Booker improving as a defender than facing off with the four-time scoring champ and former MVP Kevin Durant in a 1-on-1 drill?

Being a part of the Team USA experience has been a big offseason boost for many, including Durant himself. Durant’s first tournament appearance for the team was at the 2010 FIBA World Championships when Durant averaged 22.8 points a game and earned MVP honors.

“Being around all these, really, legends of the game, mentors of the game — I’m just being a sponge here,” Booker said. “Taking all the information I can in and enjoying it.”

The 2019 FIBA World Cup of Basketball will take place from late Aug. to mid-Sept. in China next summer while the 2020 Olympic Games are from late July to mid-Aug. in Japan.

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