Is the Dream Team about to Become a Nightmare Again?
Brandon Anderson
207

I think your analysis misses a lot of key points. The reforms that Jerry Colangelo brought to USA Basketball established an infrastructure that has set the USA up to win both the World Cup and Olympics nearly every time. The best US high school players are now playing USA Basketball starting at U16 and we have been dominating those events for the past 5–7 years once the pump was primed. Those kids start the pipeline that goes U16, U17, U18, U19, Select Team, Senior National Team. That pipeline forms a giant pool of players that are involved with USA Basketball. In 2004, that pool didn’t exist and we got caught short and no one wanted in. Now, we’ve got tons of guys who want in. Plus, to be part of that pool, you need to show up each summer at the Vegas camp, which has actually proven to be a huge celebration of American basketball coinciding as it does with Summer League and the high school tournaments that follow. Everyone who is anyone shows up in Vegas, and it turns out these guys love being part of that secret fraternity because they share tips and tricks and workout best practices and the rest. Playing for USA Basketball really helps these guys, and its not the games against the other teams, its the brotherhood with the other players. The gap between the US and the rest of the world isn’t shrinking, it’s getting much much bigger. In my opinion, the next big rival is Canada, if they can’t get their act together. They are one of the few teams that challenge our U16-U19 squads consistently.

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