Seeing Zion Williamson in the flesh, in Melbourne? It could really happen.
Duke’s Williamson was invited to join the 10-man select squad, that will participate in training camp against Team USA in Las Vegas.
Williamson, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward whose exciting, athletic style of play at Duke dazzled basketball fans all over, and drawn comparisons to LeBron James, will likely be drafted first by the New Orleans Pelicans in the coming NBA draft.
The official Team USA 18-man training camp roster will be announced next week. According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, players joining the squad include All-Stars like Anthony Davis, Kemba Walker and James Harden. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned potential additions could include Bradley Beal, Eric Gordon, Kyle Kuzma, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum and Jayson Tatum.
The training camp will likely take place from 5-8 August, with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich leading the squad.
USA Basketball (USAB) chairman Jerry Colangelo mentioned that Williamson could be part of Team USA’s final 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup, depending on his play.
There has been precedent for Williamson’s potential entry: New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis made his debut in the 2012 London Olympics for Team USA, before he was drafted to the NBA. The 2012 Team USA squad was spearheaded by top-tier NBA talent in LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, and eventually triumphed over Spain to win the gold medal.
The Boomers squad will convene in Melbourne at the beginning of August for a selection camp before moving to Perth. They return to Melbourne for much-anticipated warm up games against Canada and the United States.
Tickets for the Melbourne Boomers games are still available via Ticketek.
Australian Boomers warm-up game schedule
August 16: Boomers vs Canada Basketball / RAC Arena in Perth
August 17: Boomers vs Canada Basketball / RAC Arena in Perth
August 22: Boomers vs USA Basketball / Marvel Stadium in Melbourne
August 24: Boomers vs USA Basketball / Marvel Stadium in Melbourne
2019 FIBA World Cup Schedule
1 September: vs Canada – 5:30pm
3 September: vs Senegal – 5:30pm
5 September: vs Lithuania – 9:30pm
9 September: Round of 16
10/11 September: Quarter-Finals
13 September: Semi-Finals
15 September: Medal Games