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Projected No. 1 pick Zion Williamson invited to USA Select national team

Zion Williamson, USA Basketball

Duke forward and soon-to-be No. 1 overall selection Zion Williamson has received an invite from USA Basketball to join the 10-man Select team that will compete alongside the 18-man training camp roster head coach Gregg Popovich will assemble in Las Vegas for World Cup competition, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Much like Anthony Davis did in 2012, Williamson will have a chance to carve a roster spot among the final 12-man team, which could be an experience of a lifetime if he manages to make the cut.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said the organization wants to give Williamson “the platform to see how he can compete with the vets.”

Much like Williamson, David was fresh out of Kentucky and bound to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick when he first received an invite to join this process, one that got him some playing time at the World Cup level, but most importantly, plenty of high-octane practice alongside some of the best names in the game.

Names like Bradley Beal, Eric Gordon, Kyle Kuzma, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum and Jayson Tatum have been called up to the preliminary roster, along with other confirmed participants like James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Davis, now a six-time All-Star since first getting to experience playing in Team USA seven years ago.

Others like Paul Millsap and P.J. Tucker also received an invitation, according to Stein.

Williamson is only weeks from becoming the top overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans and now potentially benefitting from rubbing elbows with some of the NBA’s greatest talent and a Hall of Fame coach in Popovich.