Faried, Lawson selected for USA Basketball mini-camp roster

Denver Nuggets teammates among 27 players invited to Las Vegas
by Aaron Lopez

Colorado Springs, Colo., June 12, 2013 – Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried and point guard Ty Lawson are among the 27 players selected to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev., USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced today.

Faried, 6-8, 228, has averaged 11.1 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting .562 in two seasons with the Nuggets. In 2012-13, he had 31 double-doubles, ranked ninth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.552) and was tied for 14th in rebounds per game (9.2). He was selected the MVP of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Houston after posting 40 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes for the victorious Team Chuck.

Lawson, 5-11, 195, has averaged 13.2 points and 5.3 assists in four seasons with the Nuggets. He is coming off his best season in the NBA, averaging a career-high 16.7 points and a career-high 6.9 assists, which was tied for 14th in the NBA. In his first two seasons as a full-time starter for Denver, he has averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 assists while helping the Nuggets reach the playoff each year.

Most recently, Faried and Lawson were instrumental in leading the Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins, including a franchise-best 38-3 home record, in 2012-13. Denver finished third in the Western Conference after going 24-4 after the All-Star break.

Also accepting invitations to participate in the mini-camp were: Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons); Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets); Larry Sanders (Milwaukee Bucks); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Recently named 2013-16 USA Basketball National Team head coach and Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski will direct the mini-camp. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University veteran coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.

"The group of players we have assembled for the mini-camp are extremely talented and very versatile. This is an important opportunity for each one of them because we will be evaluating which players will continue to be involved in future USA National Team training camps and teams," said Colangelo, who has seen USA National teams compile a 62-1 record since taking charge of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005.

"Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, and Andre Iguodala were all guys who played in our 2009 mini-camp and went on to play for the 2010 USA World Championship and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams that won gold. I’m sure it will not be much different this time around and some of the players involved in this mini-camp will be members of upcoming USA National teams."

"The majority of these players have prior USA Basketball experience, including 10 members of last summer’s USA Select Team that helped prepare the U.S. Olympic Team. This year is an important first step in the rebuilding of the USA National Team roster for the 2014-16 international competitions, and we believe we have compiled a roster of not only outstanding basketball talents, but individuals who will represent the United States in the manner we expect."

The invited players will assemble in Las Vegas on July 21, and will conduct daily training sessions July 22-24 (12:00-2:30 p.m. PDT) and close out the mini-camp with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, a blue-white intra-squad game on Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m. PDT at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. All USA practices will take place at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center and are closed to the general public.

"This is an exciting group of versatile and very talented players," said Krzyzewski, the USA head mentor who has led U.S. teams to gold at back-to-back Olympics. "This group has a really good blend of experience, both with USA Basketball and in the NBA. The mini-camp will feature a lot of younger players who are emerging in the NBA and it will give us our first opportunity to see them at this elite level. I’m really anxious to get to work with them."

The 27 players have a wide range of NBA experience. Conley, with six NBA seasons under his belt, has the most; two (Anderson, Jordan) possess five; four have four seasons (DeRozan, Gibson, Holiday, Lawson); seven are three-year veterans (Cousins, Favors, George, Hayward, Monroe, Sanders, Wall); six are second-year pros (Faried, Irving, Leonard, Parsons, Thompson, Walker); and seven just completed their rookie campaign (Barnes, Beal, Davis, Drummond, Lillard, Waiters, Zeller.)

All five members of the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie first team will attend the mini-camp, including Barnes, Beal, Davis, Lillard and Waiters, while Drummond and Zeller were second team honorees. The 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie first team members attending the training camp include Faried, Irving, Leonard and Thompson, while Parsons was a second team choice. Cousins and Wall were members of the 2011 Rookie first team, and Favors, George and Monroe were second team picks. In 2010 Gibson earned All-Rookie first team honors.

For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com.