Team USA journey begins for rising stars Lawson and Faried

Denver Nuggets teammates among select group to take part in mini-camp next month
by Aaron Lopez

They were recruited out of high school and then drafted into the NBA after successful college careers.

Denver Nuggets teammates Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson are being sought after again – this time by USA Basketball.

Faried and Lawson, two of Denver’s rising young stars, will take part in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas next month. They are among 27 players who will train from July 22-25.

“I want to thank USA Basketball for this opportunity,” Faried said after the list of invitees was announced Wednesday. “This is a great honor and privilege. I hope with this invitation I can make the team. I’m going to go out there and do my best to represent my family, Denver and the United States to the best of my ability.”

Added Lawson: "I’m honored to be included by USA Basketball. It’s been something I have wanted to be a part of the last couple of years. I’m excited to get out there and show my best."

The mini-camp represents an important step for players aspiring to represent USA Basketball on the international stage. Past participants include Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Love, who later played for Team USA at the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.

“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,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.

“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.”

Faried and Lawson are coming off career seasons with the Nuggets.

Lawson, 25, averaged a career-high 16.7 points and 6.9 assists while serving as the catalyst to Denver’s offense. His scoring and assist averages have increased in each of his four NBA seasons.

Faried, 22, had 31 double-doubles in 2012-13 and averaged 11.5 points and a team-leading 9.2 rebounds.

The Denver teammates are scheduled to report to Las Vegas on July 21 and train for three days before taking part in an intrasquad scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 25.