According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Utah Jazz point guard has been invited to USA Basketball's informal camp in Las Vegas. This is a camp for players working together and against one another, for one of the coveted spots for the Rio Olympics 2016 roster spots. All the action will be held at the UNLV campus between August 11th and 13th. In addition to Trey, the other newly added players to the USA Basketball pipeline are , , , , , and Victor Oladipo. Clearly these guys will be brought in for adversarial training at most, to go up against the actual Team USA guys. Part of the reason for this is to a) prevent injury, b) let injured players heal, and not lose their spots on the team due to non-participation, and c) help develop that next group of Team USA players. You may remember that , , , and were all part of things like this before they went on to make the Team USA camp, or even went on to make Team USA.
"USAB managing director Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, tells ESPN.com that next month's camp will actually serve as more of a "reunion" for various players who have worked under Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in the past two Olympic tournaments and the past two world championship-level events. As opposed to the full-scale practices and the intrasquad scrimmage that Team USA would typically hold in preparation for a major competition, Colangelo said Tuesday that next month's gathering will instead feature two days of noncontact workouts and "an all-star game of sorts" on Aug. 13 that will feature the various marquee players in attendance who are healthy enough to play."
These new seven players will help play the roles of foreign players (so this is like Red Flag), or fill in gaps due to the previously mentioned injures -- we wont be seeing, , , or in Vegas this August. For those keeping score at home the pool for the Olympic Team USA 2016 was originally 28 players. Then due to injuries was expanded to 34 players. And now it stands at 41 players. Obviously going from 41 down to 12 will be both easy and difficult at different spots. But as of right now three Jazzmen will at least get to keep (we hope they get to keep them) some Team USA gear that they wore: Hayward, Favors, and now Burke.
Personally, I think this is great for Trey Burke. He is a player who plays best when he is playing with confidence, and being selected to participate and play with some of the best players in America (and therefore, the world) should help. The 22 year old lost his starting job to a teen last year, and his shot abandoned him even more, while he also had to deal with off-court issues. It wasn't Trey's best year of his career. Though, it is nice to see that the best basketball minds in America feel like he's good enough be invited.
It came as a huge shock to me that they didn't askto play. After all, if you listen to many Jazzfans it's obvious which of the two is superior. ("That, Marge, was sarcasm." - Homer J. Simpson)
I am happy for Trey, a three time Rookie of the Month award winner in 2013-14. He is someone who has had his play distinguish himself over his entire basketball life, being a Top 20 player for his position out of high school, to being recruited by a number of Division I NCAA programs, to being someone selected Top 10 in the NBA Draft. That doesn't happen by accident, each step of the way. Being National player of the year in college and being 1st team All-Rookie and winning the NBA Skills Challenge doesn't happen by accident either.
And now, most recently, Trey Burke being recognized by people like Jerry Colangelo to run with Team USA, even if he's one of the obvious first cuts and is there to be compared against, also doesn't happen by accident.
Congrats Trey, you clearly have more than just me as your fan still. The braintrust that gets to pick players from the largest, deepest, most talented prospective player pool on the planet likes you too.
Play your best, and come back to Utah ready to take a big step forward!