Donovan Mitchell Portrait
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz poses for a portrait on May 20, 2019 in New York, New York.
Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell begins World Cup quest with Team USA training camp

by Aaron Falk

Before he starts his third NBA season, Donovan Mitchell is preparing to take on the world.

The Utah Jazz guard is one of about 30 NBA players in Las Vegas for the start of Team USA’s first training camp ahead of this summer’s FIBA World Cup. This is Mitchell’s first time with Team USA, but he could very well earn a place on the 12-man roster that will compete in China later this month.

“First day, happy to be here. Happy to be a part of this,” Mitchell said. “My first USA experience. I’m excited. I’m excited to see where it takes me.”

Mitchell arrived in Las Vegas, carrying a Marvel-themed box of sneakers. Later, he gave his fans on Instagram a sneak peek at a new red, white and blue Team USA colorway of his adidas D.O.N. Issue #1s.

Now we’ll see if Mitchell can impress USA coach Gregg Popovich enough to earn a spot on the World Cup roster. Between the national and select teams, there are 29 players in camp in Vegas. The other guards in camp include Boston’s Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

Monday marked the first day of a camp that will run through Thursday. The USA will then have an exhibition game in Vegas on Friday.

"If you look at the history of USA Basketball, in ’08 we had 12 players when we won the gold medal in China and in ’10 we had 12 different players and four of those young players, (Kevin) Durant, (Derrick) Rose, (Russell) Westbrook and (Stephen) Curry all went on to be MVPs, but they were 21-, 22-year-old guys at the time. So, some of the young players here are in that same boat," USA National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo said Monday. "They have the opportunity to showcase … Donovan Mitchell, (Kyle) Kuzma, Fox, whoever they may be, it’s kind of exciting. Because, if you’re looking at them today, on the first day, there’s a lot of good talent here. I’m very optimistic about how well we’re going to be because of the talent, the attitude and because of how they shot the lights out here on the very first day of training camp. "

Camp will resume the following week in Los Angeles, where the team will train Aug. 13-15 followed by an exhibition game against Spain on Aug. 16. The final 12-man roster will be announced Aug. 17. The FIBA World Cup begins Aug. 31.

"At times we all have something to prove during the NBA season," Mitchell said on the first day of camp. "This isn’t anything different for guys like myself. We have to be ready to come out there and be ready to compete and play. Kyle (Kuzma), De’Aaron and myself have been pushing each other since we were 16.

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D A Y in Vegas ↔️ (: @usabasketball)

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