A few players with Valley ties are reportedly invited to the Team USA select team. The team practices against Team USA while they prepare for the Olympics and has been considered a pipeline for future Olympic games.
azcentral’s Paola Boivin reported Jerry Colangelo, who is chairman of USA Basketball’s Board of Directors, informed her Suns guard Devin Booker has been invited to the team.
The #suns Devin Booker has been invited to be on the select team that plays against Team USA in prep for Olympics, Jerry Colangelo told me
— Paola Boivin (@PaolaBoivin) May 11, 2016
The Suns rookie was the bright spot in a difficult 2015-16 season for Phoenix. When Eric Bledsoe went down with a season-ending injury in late December, Booker stepped in and became the premier scorer on the team. The youngest player in the NBA ended his rookie year averaged nearly 14 points a game and hit 34% of his shots from behind the arc.
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press also reported former Arizona Wildcat and current Detroit Pistons rookie small forward Stanley Johnson received an invite as well. Fellow Piston Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also received an invite to the team.
Pistons' Johnson, Caldwell-Pope to get USA Select Team invites https://t.co/kkgNwUjcz2 via @freep
— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) May 12, 2016
Johnson has already donned the red, white and blue on various Team USA junior teams and also for the Arizona Wildcats, where he was the 2014-15 Pac-12 freshman of the year and led the team with 13.8 points per game. He was a young contributor to Stan Van Gundy’s Pistons team and averaged eight points per game in his rookie season.
Current Team USA members Klay Thompson and Draymond Green came from the Team USA select team. So who knows? We may see both Booker and Johnson representing the USA in future Olympics.