Zion Williamson might represent his country before NBA fans have the chance to love or loathe him.
USA Basketball plans to talk with the Duke University men’s basketball star to gauge his interest in playing for Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with USA Basketball’s intentions.
Williamson is expected to announce in the coming weeks he’ll leave Duke after one season and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft, where many believe he’ll be the first overall pick. Talks between Williamson and USA Basketball must wait until he officially turns professional and likely would take place closer to June 20, according to Stein’s source.
If USA Basketball invites Williamson to try out for the national team, he’d join Anthony Davis as the first player to do so at the outset of his professional career. Davis played his way onto Team USA in 2012, ahead of the Summer Olympics in London, just weeks after he was drafted first overall.
The World Cup will take place between Aug. 31 and Sept. 15 in China. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will lead Team USA and select the players who will pursue a third consecutive world championship.
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