They started off slow, but Team USA basketball eventually took off in their tournament opener of the FIBA World Cup on Saturday, beating New Zealand 99-72 in Manila. Los Angeles Lakers standout Austin Reaves undoubtedly made his presence felt for Steve Kerr's squad with 12 points, six assists, and three steals and also had no shortage of support from the fans in the Philippines.

Following the contest, Reaves was asked about just that and had a really awesome response to the supporters cheering him on across the world.

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Via Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

“I was one of those kids watching the World Cup [and] the Olympics, so every day I wake up and cherish those moments,” Reaves said. “I'm from a super small town, and not a lot of people expected me to be here representing our country. So for the [crowds] to accept me the way that they accept me, it means a lot to me.”

Nothing but love for Reaves. I mean, there are a ton of Lakers fans all over the globe and he proved to be a massive piece for the squad in 2022-23, serving as one of their best role players. He's very well-liked by the Purple and Gold fans.

The reality is Reaves came from a small town in the middle of Arkansas, went undrafted, got a massive $56 million deal from LA, and then made Team USA. This is all a dream for him.

While the numbers weren't massive for Austin Reaves against the Kiwis, he had a plus-19 rating, which just shows how instrumental he was in the outcome of the game. He is a sparkplug every time he steps on the floor and will be vital in the Americans making a gold medal run.