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USA Basketball continues to prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics. After a week of camp in which old faces and new got together to do some drills and get to know each other, it’s time for the showcase. Two teams comprised of 10 players each will square off in an exhibition on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. The scrimmage has little impact on who will ultimately make the team, but it will allow coaches to see how players interact and the fans to see some of the best in the world (and C.J. Watson) compete.
While there were some absences this year in terms of a full commitment to the camp, almost everyone that has been involved with USA Basketball in the recent past has at least made an appearance. That participation from stars ensures the possibility to assemble a potentially devastating squad in the quest for the gold medal in 2016. The program has also added veterans that haven’t competed at the highest international level in the past, such as Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
The U.S. national team won’t compete in FIBA Americas this summer, as it punched its ticket to Rio by winning the FIBA World Cup on 2014. This is the only game USA Basketball will play this year, and some of the stars that attended the camp won’t suit up.
It’s worth noting that this is the first Team USA intrasquad exhibition since Paul George’s devastating leg injury cut last year’s short. While the atmosphere will likely be more casual than ever after that moment, it should be an entertaining match.