Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris USA Basketball

Catching Up with Mudiay and Harris at USA Basketball

by Jonathan Huang

It’s been a busy summer for Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris. Aside from a bit of travel after the season ended, Mudiay and Harris have been staying sharp and hard at work in preparation for the upcoming season.

Earlier this month, Mudiay and Harris participated in a Summer League mini-camp and both shined in the game they played in Las Vegas. They also recently finished working with the USA Basketball Select Team to prepare the Men’s National Team for Olympic competition in Rio de Janeiro, which starts in August.

Harris enjoyed the experience and noted the high caliber of each player present.

“It’s been a great week,” Harris told Nuggets.com on Thursday. “The level of competition stood out to me. It’s a lot of up and coming guys, a lot of young guys. [I noticed] the competitiveness. Everybody was out there trying to get better.

The Select Team is being coached by the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, who is slated to become the next head coach of the Men’s National Team.

Harris definitely appreciated the focus on the mental side of basketball.

“[Popovich] was making us think the game,” Harris explained. “A lot of us go out there and just play but he was helping us think and play the cerebral part of the game. [He told us] to always be trying to move the ball and not go one on one, to always keep the ball in motion.”

Mudiay echoed his backcourt partner’s sentiments.

“The week with Team USA was great,” Mudiay told Nuggets.com. “Learning from Coach Pop and being a part of his culture and Team USA culture [has been the highlight]. I am learning how to be a professional and a leader every day.”

Mudiay and Harris will be tasked with leading an extremely young team next season so it definitely didn’t hurt to build a little more chemistry.

“Having Gary out there with me for this experience was great,” Mudiay said. “That’s my court partner so he and I always know what the other is going to do and we always know where the other is going to be. It was fun to be out there with my guy.”

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