USA Basketball announced its pool of 28 available players to participate in the variety of international basketball tournaments that take place during the NBA's offseason. It should come as no surprise that the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving made the list.
Here's the full list of players that will be considered for spots on Team USA:
As usual, the list is headlined by bigger names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard. But those established veterans are not expected to play in the World Cup of Basketball which will take place in the summer of 2014. The USA World Cup team is typically made up of youngsters that are just making a name for themselves on the international stage. Kyrie Irving is an obvious choice to play for that team.
The pool of 28 and subsequent 12-man rosters for both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Brazil Olympics are chosen by Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski. The fact that Kyrie played for Kyzyzewski at Duke probably helps him a little bit. I wouldn't be shocked to see Kyrie end up making both teams.
It's worth noting that playing on the World Cup team has proven to be a big step for the maturation of some young stars in the past. Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant both seemed to really break out in the NBA once the season following their run with Team USA in the World Cup of Basketball. Just being around other super talented players and realizing what it takes to compete with them and prepare like they prepare should be good for Kyrie Irving.
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