Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and guard Damian Lillard were selected for the 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team Pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be picked, it was announced today by USA Basketball.
“I’m truly honored to be selected to the U.S. Men’s National Team,” said Aldridge. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of making the team and grateful for the opportunity to represent my country.”
Aldridge, 28, is posting career highs of 24.2 points (47.6 FG%), 11.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists this season for the Trail Blazers. The two-time NBA All-Star became the third player in the league this season and second-fastest in franchise history to score 1,000 points, and his three games of 25 points and 20 rebounds are as many as the rest of the NBA combined.
“I'm honored to be selected for the 2014-16 USA National Team,” said Lillard. “It's been a dream of mine to have an opportunity to represent my country. I'm joining a talented group of players and l look forward to starting the program this summer.”
Last season’s unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year, Lillard, 23, is averaging 21.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists to go with a 43.0% (131-for-305) mark from 3-point range. He ranks second in the NBA in 3-pointers made, seventh in 3-point percentage and 13th in scoring. Upon registering his 200th assist earlier this month, Lillard became the third NBA player to register 700 points, 200 assists and 100 rebounds this season.
Lillard participated this past July in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National team mini-camp in Las Vegas.
A smaller group of U.S. National Team members will be selected to participate in the 2014 USA National Team’s opening training camp in July. Exact training dates and locations for the USA National Team training in 2014 will be announced at a later date.
The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain.