Nuggets F Kenneth Faried one step closer to Team USA roster spot

The Manimal among 19 players invited to USA Basketball mini-camp
by Aaron Lopez

Kenneth Faried is one step closer to representing the Denver Nuggets and the United States in Spain later this summer.

After impressing USA Basketball coaches and officials with energy and an expanding repertoire a year ago, Faried is among the 19 players invited to take part in a mini-camp in Las Vegas from July 28-Aug. 1.

From that group, 12 players will be selected to represent Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in Spain from Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

“It’s an honor to be one of the lucky few from last year’s training camp to be invited back and have a chance to travel to Spain for the World Cup,” Faried said. “I would like to thank the USA Basketball Committee for inviting me back. I will give it my all like I always do – but even more for the Red, White and Blue.”

Selected 22nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, the 24-year-old Faried has made a name for himself with his non-stop energy and effort, but he showed signs of a potential breakout over the final 25 games of 2013-14.

Faried was among the NBA’s top power forwards in March and April, averaging 19.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.12 steals while shooting .550 from the field. Team USA will have plenty of scoring options, which could present an opportunity for a catalyst such as Faried to land a roster spot.

“He has a great motor, unbelievable energy and is a terrific rebounder,” Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Sometimes when you put together a team, you’re missing someone that can kind of get all those pieces moving better together. Kenneth can do that.”

Faried, along with Nuggets teammate Ty Lawson, were among 28 players who took part in a four-day USA Basketball mini-camp last July. The camp concluded with a showcase scrimmage in which Faried scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 12 minutes.

“He did well in our mini-camp,” Krzyzewski said. “Everyone was very impressed with him.”

Faried is one of three power forwards on the Team USA mini-camp roster this time around. He is joined by Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).

“We have some young players who are on their way up the ladder in terms of recognition and talent,” USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “We’re excited about the group.”