Marcus Smart (Getty Images)
Smart was the lone non-NBA player invited to participate in the USA Basketball Men's National Team Mini-Camp in Las Vegas from July 22-25. He'll compete against 28 NBA players at the camp including talented young point guards such as Damian Lillard, Ty Lawson, Kyrie Irving and John Wall.
"It is a great honor to be invited to participate with the USA Men's National Team," Smart said in a statement. "The other players at the mini-camp are NBA professionals who I look up to and respect. I'm excited to learn from them and to compete against them."
The purpose of the mini-camp is to give USA Basketball officials a chance to evaluate some of the country's top young stars to determine which of them might be able to help the U.S. at upcoming World Championships and Olympics. Smart already has ample experience with USA Basketball at the youth level, having led the U.S. to championships at the U-18 and U-19 World Championships both of the past two summers.
To put into perspective what it means for for Smart to be the lone college player invited to the mini-camp, consider that not one of the players selected in the 2013 NBA draft were asked to participate. In 2009, the only non-NBA player asked to participate in the mini-camp was then-Oklahoma star Blake Griffin.
"We're very excited for Marcus," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "It's an incredible honor to be the lone college player to be selected. It's a great honor for him and our program. He continues to represent us in a first-class manner, both on and off the court."
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