The last eight months have been very good to Jerami Grant. He stepped into a starring role with the Detroit Pistons after a strong season as a role player for the Denver Nuggets, received significant All-Star consideration in February and finished second overall in the Most Improved Player race.
Now, he’s an Olympian. Grant was officially named to USA Basketball’s 12-member U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team on Monday, making him the first Piston to make the roster since Tayshaun Prince in 2008. Grant Hill (1996) is the only other Piston in franchise history to qualify for a team.
Grant had a breakout season in Detroit, averaging career-highs in points (22.3), assists (2.8) and minutes per game (33.9).
He will be joined by Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks); Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).
The team will be led by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and Jay Wright (Villanova University) will serve as assistant coaches.
“We are excited about the 12 players who have been selected to represent the United States in the Tokyo Olympics,” managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a release. “This was an unusually challenging selection process for many reasons, including the year postponement of the Olympics and the issues related to the timing of the NBA regular season and playoffs.
“Our roster features players who are experienced in the international game, and this team has outstanding athleticism, versatility and balance, he added.” We also believe we have excellent leadership which is a necessity in order to develop the needed chemistry. We still have a lot of challenges in front of us, but I believe these players will become a team that all Americans will be proud of.”
Training camp opens on July 6, and the USA men’s national team will play five exhibition games — against Nigeria on July 10, Australia on July 12, Argentina on July 13, Australia on July 16, and Spain on July 18.
The Summer Olympic Games will take place from July 23-Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
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