Chandler soars high for the red, white and blue
The 7-foot-1 big man took the court Saturday night in Team USA's Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage, looking to turn the coaching staff's heads before the first round of cuts take place. Suiting up for the White squad, Chandler proved that he belongs with the best of the best. Chandler also proved that after two injury-riddled seasons he is now healthy and ready to make up for lost time.
Helping his team to a 114-96 runaway victory, the 27-year-old showed glimpses of dominance inside while amassing 13 points (6-for-6 from the floor), nine rebounds and four blocked shots in just over 20 minutes of play .
"It's an incredible opportunity. Whenever you can explain to your kids that you played for the USA team, it's a wonderful achievement," Chandler said before heading to the team's five-day training camp.
Competing internationally with the team back in 2007, Chandler looked to return to the high-octane play that was on display before his recent battle with a stress reaction in his left foot. Mission accomplished.
"This is the first summer in a while that I've been healthy," he said. "I've been able to train -- I've been training since two weeks after the season and getting better and better. I'm healthy now, feeling great."
And he showed it.
After getting on the board with a two-hand dunk plus the foul in the opening quarter, the big man turned his attention to the defensive end by showing the shot-blocking and rebounding ability that figures to bolster the Dallas frontcourt when the season rolls around.
The lean, athletic center showed that he is a perfect fit for the uptempo play of international basketball, running the full length of the court and patrolling the paint when needed. Now, Chandler hopes his performance was good enough to help him stick on the roster when the team begins training in New York on Aug. 9. The team is preparing for the FIBA World Championships held in Turkey from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12.
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