With Derrick White joining the USA Basketball Select Team, he will get more time to work with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich this summer.
Gregg Popovich’s role as the head coach of Team USA has him coaching basketball all year long, and he will now get to work with one of his San Antonio Spurs players during that time.
The Spurs announced that Derrick White will be joining the USA Basketball Select Team, which is designed to get promising young players in the program to develop and potentially play with Team USA in the future.
“The purpose of the Select Team is to help prepare our National Team for the World Cup and to offer an opportunity for some younger NBA standouts to be involved in the USA Basketball National Team program,” said USA Basketball Men’s National Team Managing Director Colangelo. “These 13 players help extend the legacy of elite players who have been part of USA Basketball Select teams. Not only will this group help prepare the United States for the FIBA World Cup, but it will also provide them with valuable experience at the USA Basketball National Team level.”
White will get to train alongside the USA National Team led by Gregg Popovich from August 5-8 in Las Vegas, which will give him a headstart on his preparation for the upcoming season against some of the nation’s best competition.
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White also has the opportunity to learn from the USA Select Team’s head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who was one of the league’s best coaches during his time in the NBA.
Joining White on this year’s Select Team will be Jarrett Allen of the Brooklyn Nets; Marvin Bagley III of the Sacramento Kings; Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns; Jalen Brunson of the Dallas Mavericks; John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks; Pat Connaughton of the Milwaukee Bucks; De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings; Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets; Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic; Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks; Landry Shamet of the Los Angeles Clippers; and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.
In addition to playing with and against some of the league’s most talented players, White will also get to build connections during his time with the team.
We’ve seen Team USA used as a platform to build relationships before as it helped bring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh together in Miami, and it also played a pivotal part in uniting Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn among other examples.
In the player empowerment era, building those relationships is one of the best ways to create great teams and White will have the opportunity to make some friends and potentially recruit them to San Antonio in the future.
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This is a fantastic opportunity for the third-year guard to continue to develop his game under the guidance of his own head coach as well as potentially plant the seeds for future free agent negotiations.