Trae Young Says He Deserved to Be on Team USA's Preliminary 2020 Olympic Roster

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 14, 2020

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers' Collin Sexton (2) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

USA Basketball announced a 44-player list of finalists for its 2020 Summer Olympics team on Thursday, and Atlanta Hawks point guard and NBA All-Star Trae Young was noticeably absent. 

ESPN's Malika Andrews asked Young about his omission from the list in the midst of a wide-ranging interview that aired Thursday:

"Obviously I was kind of hurt that I didn't make the 44 players and felt like I deserved to be on that list," Young said. "But for me, it's not going to stop me from working hard and continuing to get better. ... I don't know what the final list will say if I end up getting added to the list, but we'll just see when the time comes."

Young is averaging 29.7 points on 44.3 percent shooting and 9.2 assists per game for the Hawks. He was named an All-Star starter this year.

This year's Summer Games will take place in Tokyo, where the United States will be looking to win its fourth straight gold medal.

Per the USA Basketball team release, nine members of the gold-medal winning team from 2016 are on the list, including four-time NBA MVP and Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James.

Other notable names include Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and Lakers big man Anthony Davis.

Young likely faced an uphill battle to make the team given a stacked finalist list, especially at the guard position. However, his omission from the final group of 44 is still surprising given his individual accolades and performances.

This year's team will be led by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright will be his assistants.

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