After many withdrawals by top-tier frontcourt players on Team USA, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the rest of the men’s national basketball staff have extended a training camp invitation to Atlanta Hawks All-Star power forward Paul Millsap.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love have all dropped out for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, leading to a depleted pool of frontcourt players for Team USA.
After initially stating that no additions would be made to the training camp roster, USA basketball officials had a change of heart and decided that they did need help in the frontcourt.
“Paul has prior experience at the National Team level having participated in the 2009 National Team mini-camp and offers us veteran inside player who possesses attributes that can be beneficial for us,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo in a release.
Millsap becomes the second Atlanta Hawks players to be named to the training camp roster, the first being Kyler Korver.
He will join DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, and Kenneth Faried in the attempt to claim one of the 12 available roster spots for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Training camp starts tomorrow, July 28, and lasts for three days, while the World Cup starts August 30 in Spain.
“I’m very excited about being added to the USA Men’s National Team roster,” Millsap said. “I look forward to practicing with and competing against some of the NBA’s best for the honor of representing our country in Spain.”
Millsap is a very late addition to the team, but figures to have a very good chance at making the team given the great numbers he put up last year with Atlanta in his All-Star season campaign. He averaged 17.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, taking on a heavy leadership role after Al Horford fell to season-ending injury in late December.
Millsap will most likely be playing the small forward or power forward posistion due to the international game leaning more towards skill and less towards athleticism.
The floor-spreading forward becomes the 19th (and final) member on Team USA’s training camp roster.