2016 USA Men’s Select Team Name Jahlil Okafor and Jerami Grant

Dec 7, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Jerry Colangelo speaks to the media after being named special advisor for the Philadelphia 76ers before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Jerry Colangelo speaks to the media after being named special advisor for the Philadelphia 76ers before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2016 USA Men’s Select Basketball Team Name Jahlil Okafor and Jerami Grant

USA Basketball today released the news that 25 players have been selected to the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team which will train on July 18-21 with the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among those players named are two from the roster of the Philadelphia 76ers: Jerami Grant and Jahlil Okafor.

The entire team roster was announced on June 7, 2016, and included the following players:

Malcolm Brogdon (University of Virginia); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit Pistons); Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings); Kris Dunn (Providence College); Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic); Jerami Grant (Philadelphia 76ers); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets); Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz); Brandon Ingram (Duke University); Brice Johnson (University of North Carolina), Stanley Johnson (Detroit Pistons); Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls); Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets); Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers); Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks); Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers); D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Denzel Valentine (Michigan State University); Justise Winslow (Miami Heat) and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets).

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This is a prestigious honor for the players so named, as they will now train under the tutelage of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who on Oct. 23, 2015, was named head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium, will oversee the Select Team and Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright will serve as assistant coaches.  Team Select will participate in practices with Team USA during this period, and will likely make lasting friendships as the young players begin their basketball careers.

Team USA Select is a prestigious organization, and one that gets basketball players involved early in their careers.  For the 2016 USA Select Team, the roster includes eight players who completed their rookie NBA season in 2015-16, nine who wrapped up their second NBA season, three third-year NBA players and five players who are eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft..   Members of the USA Select Team will train daily with the USA National Team from July 18-21 (12:00-2:00 p.m. PDT) at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. All practices are closed to the public.

USA Team Select is one of the groups belonging to Team USA, the organization which is responsible for the assembling, training, coaching, and logistics of Team USA basketball in the Olympics and in international competitions, and is headed by managing director Jerry Colangelo:

"“The 2016 USA Basketball Select Team continues to our tradition of featuring some of the game’s brightest and most promising young players. Participation in this camp provides them with valuable experience at the USA Basketball National Team level, while helping prepare the 2016 USA National Team for its upcoming international competition. For many of the Select Team players this is a continuation of their USA Basketball experiences and for others it is an introduction into our pipeline.Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and it is an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball’s National Team program in the future. Current national team players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, as well as many other outstanding players, got their USA National Team start through a Select Team.We’re also very excited to get our future national team head coach Gregg Popovich involved this summer. Coach Popovich’s coaching success speaks for itself and it will be great to have him be a part of this year’s Las Vegas training camp.” -said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team managing director."

Jerry Colangelo is also an executive involved with the Philadelphia 76ers.  It may be that the presence of Jahlil Okafor and Jerami Grant are certainly good signs in terms of the value at least one of the Colangelo family places on these players.

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Jerami Grant is an important role player for the Philadelphia 76ers recently covered by George Kondoleon over at Section 215.  The article is very complimentary to the second-year forward from the University of Syracuse.  While his play has been very promising to fans and writers, it was unknown if he had earned respect of Bryan Colangelo, the new Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations.  As he has been named to the Team USA Select, it would be a safe conclusion that he has earned the respect of both Jerry and Bryan Colangelo.

The presence of Jahlil Okafor is no surprise, as he had an outstanding rookie season – albeit having played just 53 games split between center and power forward roles.  The nomination of Okafor to Team USA Select does challenge the rising interest in the team’s use of Okafor as a trading chip to acquire a second draft pick in the 2016 NBA draft, or to acquire veteran help for the team.  The presumption of the team’s trading of one of their centers may not be so written in stone as many believe.

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Jahlil Okafor has been recovering from season ending knee surgery, but both Grant and Okafor should be ready to go in July.  This is truly a distinguished honor and we here at the Sixer Sense congratulate both players for an outstanding 2015-2016 season leading to this selection, and the hope for many more such honors to come their way.