Rudy Gay, a member of USA Basketball’s gold medal-winning FIBA World Championship team in 2010, was added to Team USA’s roster Friday.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Thursday it was considering adding a player after Kevin Durant opted to depart due to fatigue from last season and his off-season commitments, and Gay was the choice.
Team USA’s 16 players will resume training in Chicago on Aug. 14-15 and conclude with an exhibition contest against Brazil on Aug. 16. The final roster will feature 12 players when Team USA opens World Cup of Basketball play in Spain against Finland on Aug. 30.
Team USA’s frontcourt is thin with forwards Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Durant withdrawing from competition and with Paul George suffering a broken leg in an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 1. Gay hopes his presence will help.
“I actually went to a practice not too long ago,” Gay told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview Friday. “I just realized how much fun I had playing for Team USA, coach (Mike Krzyzewski) and all those guys. To see how Paul George went down, I feel like it’s not only for the country but we have to do it for him, too. I just want to be a part of it.”
Gay averaged 20 points, six rebounds and 1.3 steals for the Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors last season. The Kings forward averaged seven points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 31.6 percent from 3-point range as a reserve for Team USA in 2010.
“I’ve been a part of USA Basketball and I have a great relationship with Coach K,” Gay said. “You can work out as much as you can, but when you’re playing against the best talent in the world, it’s better.”
Team USA’s roster now includes three true small forwards in Gay, Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward.
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