De’Aaron Fox’s jump from the Select Team to Team USA’s senior team in a quest for a gold medal has been an opportunity unlike any other. The young Sacramento Kings point guard will get the chance to build off his most successful NBA season yet and use his time with USA Basketball as a perfect springboard for his third season in the league, learning from high-caliber teammates who can help him get his game to another level:
“I think it is a big opportunity just being able to be here,” said Fox, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think I have gotten better as a player, as a leader, understanding of the game entirely. And if I am able to be on this team and travel with this team, it’s a big success.”
This summer saw plenty of household names drop out of contention for a spot on this roster, which eventually opened up the way for Fox to likely make this year’s team as a unique weapon at the point guard position.
Much like the rest of his teammates, Fox has been unbothered by the lack of big names in training camp, but rather encouraged by the prospect of forging something new, much like a younger Team USA did for the 2010 World Cup:
“Jerry [Colangelo] even talked about the 2010 team, all those guys being around 21, 22, 23 years old,” Fox said of what USA Basketball’s managing director told him. “He kind of sees the same thing and using it as a springboard into the season.”
The Americans still have a solid talent advantage over the rest of the world, but it will be up to them to showcase that and put it to use with less than a month of total preparation before taking on competition at the international stage. Win or lose, Fox will come out of this experience a better player for it.