On August 5th, Team USA will begin their training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup competition. While you will not find any top five NBA players on the training camp roster, there will be some very strong players in attendance, a few of which are former Kentucky Wildcats.
Julius Randle was the first player to get the call to training camp. After an outstanding year with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Randle scored a fat contract with the New York Knicks.
Bam Adebayo is the latest Kentucky guy to accept an invitation to camp. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the young Miami Heat star accepted his invitation Friday evening.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo has accepted an invitation to Team USA training camp for the FIBA World Cup tournament in China, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 27, 2019
Last season with the Heat, Bam averaged 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and nearly a block and a steal a game while shooting 57.6% from the floor. With Hassan Whiteside now playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, Adebayo is in line for an expanded role for a Miami team that is looking to be competitive this season behind newly acquired star Jimmy Butler.
The final Wildcat in contention for a roster spot is De’Aaron Fox, although it is somewhat of a longshot. Fox is regarded as an up and coming superstar in the league, and has been named to the Team USA Select Team,
The Select Team is not an official part of the FIBA roster, but is more of a group that trains alongside the primary roster in an effort to build the future of Team USA basketball. However, if a player completely shows up the competition in training camp or if injuries hamper the World Cup squad, it is not unheard of for a Select Team player to end up playing for the official Team USA squad.
It is reported that Anthony Davis bowed out of international competition this summer to stay healthy, and that Devin Booker told Team USA he would not accept an invitation should he receive one. So there could have been even more Kentucky players representing their country this summer, and there is great potential for more former Wildcats to represent Team USA in the very near future.