Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was chosen for the 2016 USA Men’s Select team, USA Basketball announced Tuesday.
“I got the invite and it feels really good,” Booker said via a press release from the Suns. “I’ve never participated in anything with USA Basketball before and now I’m getting the chance while I’m in the NBA, competing against the Olympic Team.”
The select team program allows young players to train and compete with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team in a training camp. This year’s camp will be at Mendenhall Center – UNLV’s basketball practice facility – from July 18-21.
Booker will not only play against top NBA talent and alongside budding young stars, but will also be coached by the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich.
As the USA National Team’s director and former Valley sports mogul Jerry Colangelo pointed out in a statement, players like Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook were once a part of the Select Team program.
“Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and it is an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball’s National Team program in the future,” Colangelo said.
Booker, age 19, is coming off a rookie season in which he scored 1,048 points. He’s only the sixth teenager in NBA history with more than 1,000 points, following LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. All of those players, with the exception of Kobe, are finalists to play on the U.S. Men’s Olympic team.
“It’s unbelievable, getting to represent USA and getting to wear those three letters across my chest. There’s nothing like that. Obviously, this is my country, born and raised here and I know the history that goes behind it with the Dream Team, so I definitely feel honored and blessed to be a part of it.”
Booker becomes the third Suns player to be named to the Select Team, joining Miles Plumlee of 2014 and Robin Lopez in 2008. Jon Leuer was on the team in 2010 while at University of Wisconsin, and is now a forward for the Suns.
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