All-Star John Wall in, Blake Griffin out of US World Cup training camp
July 27, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
COLORADO SPRINGS--NBA All-Star guard John Wall was added Friday to the U.S. squad for a pre-World Cup training camp while Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Lakers withdrew from 2014 national team duty.
Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball's managing director of the national team, made the announcement, which comes three days before the start of training camp in Las Vegas on Monday.
The team for the World Cup, to be held in Spain Aug. 30-Sept. 14, will be selected from those taking part in the camp.
Wall participated in the 2013 USA Basketball national team mini-camp and recorded 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase game.
In 2013-14, his fourth NBA season, he played and started in all 82 regular season games for the Washington Wizards and averaged 19.3 points per game, an NBA second-best 8.8 assists per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.
“We are excited that John is now able to participate in our training camp. He had an outstanding season with the Wizards and was a strong performer for us at last year's National Team mini-camp,” said Colangelo. “As we've said in the past, we can only extend the invitations to be part of the USA team and the players have to make the final decision and sometimes that decision changes because of circumstances that have changed.”
Other NBA stars who are expected to vie for World Cup team spots include NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, Golden State standout Stephen Curry, and young Cleveland talent Kyrie Irving.
This year sees the launch of the World Cup as the International Basketball Federation's flagship event, which was known as the FIBA World Championship from 1950-2010.