USA Basketball announced the 2018-20 Men's National Team roster on Friday, and it includes a couple of players with local connections.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, a former Marquette Golden Eagles standout, have been named to the 35-man roster, which will attend the USA Men's National Team minicamp in Las Vegas from July 25-27.
It is expected that the official, 12-member 2019 USA World Cup and 2020 U.S. Olympic teams, should the USA qualify to compete in China and Tokyo, will be comprised of players from the 2018-20 National Team.
This is Middleton’s first time being selected to the USA Men’s National Team roster. In his sixth NBA season, Middleton is currently averaging career-highs in points (20.4) and rebounds (5.3) per game while shooting a career-high 47.0 percent from the field and has started all 79 games for the Bucks this season. Butler, one of 11 players who were members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, is averaging 22.2 points, 5.0 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 56 games for the Bulls this season.
"While we do not have an official competition that we need to prepare for in 2018, the selection and announcement of our new pool of national team members and this year’s July minicamp are important first steps in our preparations to defend the FIBA World Cup and Olympic titles we won during the last two quadrenniums," said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA National Team since 2005 and overseen USA teams that have compiled an 88-1 overall record. "This year’s minicamp is an opportunity for us to continue and expand the culture, brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built.
"As is shown by the return of 29 past national team players, our pipeline is well developed and it is a key factor in our success. We’re also excited about the new players who have been added to the program and the roster will remain fluid over the next three years as we continue to look for and consider players who can contribute to our program."
Named to the 2018-20 USA National Team are: Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves); Mike Conley Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors); Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder); Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Tobias Harris (Los Angeles Clippers); Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics); Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Middleton Milwaukee Bucks); Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers); Chris Paul (Houston Rockets); Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.