The commitment we receive from our players continues to amaze me and the fact that all of the players who will be in Las Vegas all have prior USA Basketball experience shows that the USA Basketball pipeline is working. The prior experience these guys have will help us with our continuity and jelling as a team as well. —Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski
SALT LAKE CITY — Trey Burke’s basketball summer isn’t over yet.
The Utah Jazz point guard has been invited to participate on the USA Select team to help prep the U.S. national squad ahead of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, his camp confirmed.
Burke, an All-Rookie first-teamer, will have a chance to catch up with former Michigan teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. during his second extended trip to Vegas this summer. Hardaway is also on the USA Select team, according to the Detroit Free Press, which first reported on the former Wolverines.
Other players on the nation’s prep squad include Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Miles Plumlee and Mason Plumlee, according to NBCSports.com.
Burke’s inclusion on the Select team will give him a chance to impress USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski for future national team consideration. All 19 players invited to try out for the World Cup team have previous experience with USA Basketball.
That group includes Utah small forward Gordon Hayward, former Weber State guard Damian Lillard and ex-Jazzman Kyle Korver. They'll take part in the open training, playing occasionally against Burke's group, from July 28 through Aug. 1.
“The advantage of having a national team program like we’ve developed since Jerry took over in 2005 is the incredible depth of talent we can draw from,” Krzyzewski said in a recent teleconference.
“The commitment we receive from our players continues to amaze me and the fact that all of the players who will be in Las Vegas all have prior USA Basketball experience shows that the USA Basketball pipeline is working. The prior experience these guys have will help us with our continuity and jelling as a team as well.”
Burke struggled shooting in his four NBA Summer League games with the Jazz, averaging just nine points on 30 percent shooting. But he added four assists and four rebounds an outing, and was lauded for his behind-the-scenes leadership with younger Jazz players.
Two years ago, Hayward and Jazz big Derrick Favors were on the USA Select team, which played against the eventual gold-medal-winning 2012 Olympics squad.
JUNIOR JAZZ: Jeremy Evans’ annual Summer Tour de Utah and the Intermountain West — aka the Junior Jazz Road Trip — is about to begin.
The Jazz have announced the dates and locations of the youth clinics barnstorming event, which will span three weeks, four states, 42 cities, cover 4,000-plus miles and reach more than 2,000 boys and girls.
This marks the 30th anniversary of the Junior Jazz tour, which annually includes dozens of hour-long clinics and autograph sessions by players and staff members. It’s also the fifth straight summer that Evans will participate. Guard Ian Clark will also hit the road for a good cause after Evans’ two-week tour is over.
“Throughout the years, our players have been tremendous ambassadors for the Jazz with their participation in Junior Jazz clinics,” Jazz President Randy Rigby said in a press release. “We appreciate the support of our surrounding communities and look forward to visiting the hometowns of these Junior Jazz players for an up-close basketball experience.”
The Evans portion of the Junior Jazz tour runs from July 28-Aug. 2 and Aug. 4-9, with stops from Tabiona to Moab to Tremonton in Utah, from Wendover to Ely in Nevada, and from Evanston to Cokeville, Wyoming.
Clark’s trip will be from Aug. 11-14, beginning in Logan, heading to southeastern Idaho and wrapping up with six stops in Wyoming.
DUE DATE: Utah brass have some roster decisions to make by Aug. 1. The contracts of guard Ian Clark (fully) and forward Erik Murphy (partially) will become guaranteed after the end of this month. The Jazz’s plans are not set in stone for either player yet, and likely won’t be until the day of the decision.
Utah has 11 players under contract for 2014-15, including latest signee Trevor Booker, but sources indicate that management still wants to bring in another guard and/or wing via free agency.
That would still leave a spot or two for an NBA hopeful to make the squad after training camp. Utah can also sign a player and assign him to its D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.
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