Posted May 7 2009 5:56PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird has said he thinks Danny Granger can be an Olympian. His star pupil now is a step closer.
Granger has been invited to participate in a USA Basketball training camp this summer, the first phase in selecting the squad for the 2012 Olympics in London. Granger said Thursday he hasn't officially accepted the invitation, but he likely will.
Granger averaged 25.8 points for the Pacers this season and was named to the NBA All-Star team for the first time. Now, he's including the Olympics in his goals.
"I think that's the level everyone strives to get to," Granger told The Associated Press by telephone from Italy. "You want to win an NBA championship, of course, but I think to play in the Olympics is something really special. It comes around just once every four years, and it's a special opportunity."
Bird said in January while lobbying for Granger to make the All-Star team that the 6-foot-9 forward should be considered for the 2012 Olympic squad.
"I want Danny to make the All-Star team, but I'd rather see him represent our country in the next Olympics," Bird, a gold medalist with the 1992 Dream Team, told the AP in January. "That's what I want to see, and that's when you know you made it, because those are all the best players in the world."
USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said the camp is for players who haven't been on the senior national team in the past. He said between 20 and 24 players will participate in the camp, which is expected to take place in late July in Las Vegas.
Miller said the program has not released the names of the invited players.
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