May 24, 2018
Team USA has shown trust in the G League with its new role in providing players for FIBA qualifiers
Amidst the glitz and glamour of NBA All-Star Weekend 2018, there was a unique new event known as the NBA G League International Challenge. A squad of American G League players went up against the Mexican national team and clinched a 88 – 67 victory in a thrilling contest.
For those not in the know, this might have been a surprise but Team USA has been composed of G League players since last year, in a strong validation of the standards of the G League. The players have done the league and their country proud as well, as they took home the FIBA AmeriCup tournament in 2017 and boast an undefeated record thus far. As the team puts in work for the 2019 FIBA World Cup with upcoming qualifying matches against Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico, here’s an introduction to some players we can expect to see.
Jameel Warney (Texas Legends): As the MVP of the AmeriCup tournament, the 6-foot-7 power forward showed his all-around game. With his strength and instincts, Warney has always been an excellent rebounder and rim protector, but he has added a more consistent jumpshot to his game as well as a knack for shutting down the pick-and-roll defensively.
David Stockton (Reno Bighorns): The 5-foot-11 point guard has big shoes to fill as the next Stockton to don the Team USA uniform. It is not difficult to imagine Stockton as the cerebral floor general with excellent court vision, and this playmaking is exactly what the Gonzaga product brings to the floor for Team USA.
Kennedy Meeks (Raptors 905): A big body with deceptive agility, the 6-foot-10 Meeks won the NCAA title with UNC just last season. As he makes the case for an NBA contract with his nifty post game and variety of finishes under the basket, he has similarly impressed with the national team by providing a reliable low-post scorer.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.