Kim Klement/USA TODAY
Last week, U.S.A. Basketball released its player pool for tryouts this summer for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The team that represents the country.
Rookie Victor Oladipo was not on that list yet, but when he looked at the list, which included young guards Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal, Oladipo could not help but think of whether he would get the opportunity to represent his country for the 2020 Olympic cycle (including the 2018 World Cup).
Oladipo told John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com that he would like to think he will be considered for Team USA's roster in four years when the next Olympic cycle begins:
Isn’t that every little kid’s dream? For me to be a part of that team, it would be a blessing. That’s something that I have added to my goals list and I want to keep working and getting better. And hopefully that’s a dream that comes true.
The U.S. team usually invites a group of young players to help build and develop the roster for future years. Oladipo might even get an invite to the training camp so he can become part of the program for next year's Tournament of the Americas (if the U.S. fails to win the World Cup this summer) or in preparation for the 2016 Olympics.
There are lots of opportunities for Oladipo to get into the program and have his shot to make the team.
Most of that will come from his play with the Magic. Oladipo is a rookie and still has a lot of growing to do even to be considered on the same playing field as Lillard, Curry or Beal. All three of those players have specific skills that could make them valuable off the bench for Team USA. So does Oladipo with his defense.
Oladipo, unlike many top picks, never participated in Team USA as a college student. Oladipo's story, as we know, was one of meteoric rise with him going virtually unrecruited in high school and bursting onto the scene as a junior after slowly improving as a freshman and sophomore at Indiana.
This is one dream that seems very clearly to be in reach for Oladipo if he continues to play well (even with this star-studded draft class coming in since Dante Exum and Andrew Wiggins are not eligible for Team USA).
Oladipo will not be the only one with Olympic dreams, of course. Andrew Nicholson and Team Canada are still awaiting their fate regarding their World Cup wild card berth. FIBA is expected to make a decision this weekend on what four teams will receive these last berths into the tournament.