John Wall and Bradley Beal are both expected to be among the 24 players to participate in USA Basketball’s minicamp in July. Team USA officials have already begun the process of tracking potential talent for the 2014 World Cup in Madrid and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the Wizards’ back-court duo will soon have a chance to leave an impression.
Wall was a part of the select team that scrimmaged and practiced with the U.S. men’s national team as it prepared for the 2012 London Olympics and has already accepted an invitation to attend the camp, according to Yahoo! Sports. A source close to Beal said that the 19-year-old shooting guard has also been invited.
The camp will be held from July 22 to 24, with an intrasquad scrimmage on July 25. An official announcement of the participants will come later, but Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Wall will have some stiff competition at point guard. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Portland’s Damian Lillard, the past two rookies of the year, are expected to compete with Denver’s Ty Lawson, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Indiana’s George Hill.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was expected to step down after leading the Americans to a gold medal in the London Olympics, but instead decided to return to guide Team USA through another cycle. Krzyzewski has also won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul. He has gone 62-1 as Team USA coach, with his only blemish coming in the 2006 World Championships in Tokyo.
Krzyzewski said in a conference call that the minicamp will be about looking ahead.
“This summer is to see new people. We would hope that a lot of our players who have played before would still be there so that we can renew relationships and for them to feel part of the USA Basketball family. I know [USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo] will extend invitations to a great deal — a great number of players to see if they’ll be there. We’ll get a chance to talk to them and socialize and get ourselves prepared for the following summer in Madrid.”
Colangelo added that a few spots for FIBA’s newly-established World Cup will be reserved for past participants in international competition.
“A number of players have already indicated on a personal basis without even being asked that they wish to participate next summer in the World Cup and some of those were members of the Olympic team in London,” Colangelo said. “But the reality is we will have continued turnover each competition, and that is the way it should be, so that the players have the opportunity to look towards the opportunity to represent. So I think the roster next summer will have some of the young guys who are going to be working out this summer and some of the carryovers, and that’s usually the way it plays out.”
Wall left Las Vegas with some confidence last summer, after overcoming some initial struggles to have a strong finish. He had hoped to have an immediate carryover with the Wizards, but his season was delayed while he recovered from a stress injury in his left knee.
“When you look at the Walls and the Kyrie [Irvings], you’re looking at the potential guards for the future,” Colangelo said last summer. “That’s why they’re here. Many, many players have used the Select Team as a springboard for making our team.”
Colangelo said that Beal was on the Team USA radar last summer. Beal was most valuable player of the 2010 FIBA Under-17 world championships in Germany. He finished third in rookie of the year balloting but is still unable to participate in basketball-related activities as he recovers from a stress injury in his right fibula.