Mikal Bridges turned heads across the NBA during a 30-game stint following his trade to the Brooklyn Nets last season. After averaging 27.7 points per game on 47/38/89 shooting splits during that span, Bridges was one of 12 players to commit to Team USA for the 2023 FIBA World Cup this summer.

The breakout forward recently opened up on his recruitment for the prestigious event:

“Steve Kerr brought up the idea to me when I was in Phoenix,” Bridges said on the Podcast P Show with Paul George (Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment). “I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m here, just please let me know.' I kind of had the idea (I would be playing) then, and then I ended up going to Brooklyn and playing really well.  Then seeing (Steve) again and talking about it, at that point I was really ready for it. So there was definitely nothing holding me back from that unless I had some injury or something happen. I was ready. I’m very excited.”

Mikal Bridges won't be the only Nets player joining Team USA. His “twin” and longtime teammate Cam Johnson also committed to play in the tournament. Johnson recently signed a four-year, $94.5 million contract extension with Brooklyn, and Nets general manager Sean Marks said he's excited to see the benefits the World Cup experience could have on his two young focal points.

“When you represent your professional side (team), that’s one thing. But when you end up playing for your country, that’s completely different,” Marks said at Summer League. “That’s so unique and not many people get to do that. That’s something very different when you get to put on that uniform. I would never discourage anybody from playing for their country. That is something super unique.”

“I think Mikal and Cam are very proud to be able to represent Team USA and we’re excited to watch them. The exposure that they’re gonna get not only to basketball but life experiences. When you go and you travel with a small group and you go to countries that, to be quite frank, maybe they’ll never go to again, it’s life-changing in a lot of different ways. So I’m sure these guys are sponges and they’ll soak up the whole experience which is exciting for them.”

The Nets duo joins a roster of rising NBA stars that includes Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton, Brandon Ingram, Paolo Banchero, Jaren Jackson Jr., Walker Kessler, Austin Reaves, Josh Hart and Bobby Portis.

Of that group, Mikal Bridges revealed who he is most excited to play with, outside of his former Villanova teammate and close friend in Brunson.

“Probably Anthony Edwards or Brandon Ingram,” he replied. “Guarding them and all of these years they make it tough for me. Probably those two guys are the biggest ones. I know how competitive they are and I know the motor on both of them. I know how skilled they are. Kind of being around them and even learning from them as well.”

Team USA will open training camp on August 3rd in Las Vegas before its first exhibition game against Puerto Rico on August 7th. They will then make stops in Spain and the United Arab Emirates before opening World Cup play in the Philippines on August 26th against New Zealand. The tournament will conclude on September 10th.