Coming off a disappointing finish in the FIBA World Cup, Team USA guard Donovan Mitchell has shifted his focus to representing his country next summer in Tokyo, Japan, where the 2020 Olympics are scheduled to be held.
Mitchell, one of the few NBA stars who played for Team USA in the world cup this month, cherished the experience and enjoyed playing against the international competition.
“For me, this is an amazing experience,” Mitchell said, as relayed by ESPN. “Everybody likes to look at the end goal, but when you sit back and reflect, I played on Team USA. That’s incredible for me. I think that in itself is amazing. So yes, it was definitely worth it.”
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo valued Mitchell’s participation with so many players dropping out this summer, and, as covered in a recent Hoops Rumors story, it’s something Colangelo likely won’t forget heading into the Olympics.
“I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up.” Colangelo said, as relayed by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “The players (we have) did everything they can do… But we went in with higher expectations in terms of roster and it didn’t kind of happen the way we were hopeful and anticipating and expecting. That, to me, was a big disappointment.”
For Mitchell, the abundance of American superstars dropping out of play didn’t change his decision. As the 23-year-old prepares to enter his third NBA season with the Jazz, the desire to represent his country next summer remains should the call come.
“I think I have to wait for them to ask,” Mitchell said. “But I want to be there.”