Report: Ex-Duke Star Zion Williamson Invited to Join USA Basketball Select Team

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

FILE - In this March 24, 2019 file photo, Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Columbia, S.C. Williamson was named the John R. Wooden Men's Player of the year at the College Basketball Awards ceremony in Los Angeles Friday, April 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)
Sean Rayford/Associated Press

Projected No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson has been invited to USA Basketball's 10-man select team and will have the opportunity to make the 12-man roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, according to the New York Times' Marc Stein.

Per Stein, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said including Williamson on the select team was done to provide him with "the platform to see how he can compete with the vets."

Williamson is coming off a sensational freshman season at Duke, one that saw him average 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks in 33 games.

That performance earned him a number of individual honors, including the National College Player of the Year award and first-team All-American.

Williamson proved at Duke that he can impact a game in a number of ways, making him the heavy favorite to be the first player off the board at the 2019 NBA draft later this month. As dominant as he was in college, though, he does not have experience competing against the best basketball players in the world.

Being included on the select roster will allow him to get his feet wet as Team USA executives evaluate him.

Stein noted the full 18-man roster for USA Basketball camp is expected to be announced next week, with New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker are already confirmed participants.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will be held from August 31 to September 15.


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