After originally being picked to join the Select Team, Derrick White is rumored to be on the verge of being promoted to the Team USA roster. When the World Cup Training Camp in Las Vegas tipped off, White getting a promotion to the main squad was considered a longshot. But the guard for the San Antonio Spurs has played so well that he now has a legitimate chance to play for Team USA at the World Cup in China.
White’s breakout during the training camp took place during scrimmages between Team USA and the Select Team. According to reports, the Select Team was able to control the action at times, with Derrick White playing a leading role.
Jeff Van Gundy, who is coaching the Select Team, went as far as to say White was the best player for either team during one of the scrimmages.
Veteran NBA reporter Ric Bucher also said he heard from a coach that White was the best player on the court during that scrimmage, which was closed to the public. The 25-year-old has also caught the eye of Jerry Colangelo, the current Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team.
Will Derrick White Make The Final Roster For Team USA?
As well as he has played, White still faces an uphill climb to be on the team that travels to China to take part in the World Cup. It’s definitely possible, though.
The Senior Team will likely keep four guards on the final roster. Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell are considered locks. The other guards vying for the remaining two spots are De’Aaron Fox, Joe Harris, Kyle Lowry, Marcus Smart and White. Lowry (thumb surgery) and Smart (calf) are battling injuries, while Harris and Fox have both reportedly struggled with their shooting during the scrimmages.
It’s unlikely that Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich will lobby for White to make the team just because he’s his NBA coach; White is going to have to earn a spot on the roster. Thus far, the Spurs guard is doing just that.
Tonight, White will have another opportunity to prove he belongs. An exhibition game between the USA Blue Team and the USA White Team will be played in Las Vegas at 9 PM CT and will be aired on NBA TV. White, appropriately, is on the USA White Team, which is made up of players currently on the Select Team. If he plays well, it’s all but guaranteed that his name will stay in the mix as a possibility for the Team USA final roster.