Jul. 21—Chet Holmgren has yet to play in a regular-season NBA game, but the former Gonzaga forward is set to compete with and against many of the league’s best players next month.
Holmgren is expected to be among 12 players named to the USA Select team, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The selected squad will join Team USA at its training camp in August in Las Vegas.
The select team will include promising younger players who will practice and scrimmage against Team USA as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan. If a Team USA player were to suffer an injury, it would likely be filled by someone from the USA Select’s roster.
Holmgren played one season at Gonzaga before being selected second overall by Oklahoma City in the 2022 draft. The 7-foot-1 forward had a strong performance at the 2022 NBA Summer League, but then suffered a foot injury at Jamal Crawford’s pro-am league in Seattle that left him on the sidelines for his rookie season.
Holmgren returned to the court for OKC earlier this month about 13 pounds heavier and had no issues with his foot during summer league appearances in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Holmgren will be joined on the Select Team by OKC teammate Jalen Williams, a Santa Clara product, Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, Houston’s Jalen Green, Sacramento’s Keegan Murray, New York’s Quentin Grimes and Boston’s Payton Pritchard.
Cunningham and Green went 1-2 in the 2021 draft. Murray was no. 4 overall and Williams was No. 12 in 2022.
Team USA’s roster: 2022 No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Halliburton, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Jaren Jackson Jr., Cameron Johnson, Walker Kessler, Bobby Portis and Austin Reaves.
Holmgren led the US U19 team to a gold medal at the 2021 FIBA World Cup in Latvia. He was named tournament MVP after the Americans edged France and eventual 2023 No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama 83-81 in the title game. Holmgren averaged 11.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 blocks.
Holmgren averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and set the school blocks record with 117 for the Zags, who fell to Arkansas in the Sweet 16. He led the Thunder in points (20.5), rebounds (9.5) and blocks (3.5) and was second in minutes (29.9) in two summer league games in Las Vegas.