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Former Mid-Major Stars Invited To USA Basketball Mini Camp

Justin Edmonds

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via www.newzealand2009.fiba.com

Today 27 players were confirmed to have accepted their invitations for the USA Basketball Mini Camp from July 22nd-25th in Las Vegas. It is a showcase for these players and gives them a chance at making the 2014-2016 U.S National Team. This list includes a slew of former mid-major standouts.

Kenneth Faried

Faried holds the record for most rebounds in Division I (post 1973) with 1673 and led Morehead State to the upset over Louisville his senior year. He has grown to one of the most dominant and athletic big men in the league even with his 6-8 frame. Faried was named on the NBA All Rookie First Team in 2012 and has not looked back.

Gordan Hayward

Already having USA Basketball experience (USA U-19 Team @ FIBA), Hayward is familiar with the system. At Butler, he led the Bulldogs to a national championship appearance and was the Horizon Player Of the Year (2010). With his ability to knock down threes and persistence on the glass, Hayward would be a welcomed addition to the USA squad.

Kawhi Leonard

Leonard, who is competing for the Spurs in the NBA finals right now, averaged a double double his sophomore year at SDSU (15.7 ppg, 10.4) while leading them to a Mountain West Championship and the Sweet Sixteen. Leonard has grown offensively in the NBA and also shown his trademark defense to the nation during these Finals. Lebron James has gone 7-30 (23.3%) on shots outside the paint during the first three games of the NBA Finals. Leonard's hard nose defense and rebounding makes him a versatile asset for team U.S.A, should they choose to add him.

Damian Lillard

At Weber State, Damian Lillard won two Big Sky Player Of the Year awards and ended his career his junior year (redshirt) as the 2nd leading scorer in Wildcats' history. After being drafted sixth overall, the unanimous 2013 Rookie of the Year set the record for most three point FGs by a rookie in one season with 185. Lillard is a game changer offensively, not only for his scoring but for his ability to find open teammates.

Larry Sanders

As a Ram, Sanders grew into THE player once Eric Maynor left and had great shot selection. After struggling to find minutes his first two seasons with the Bucks and being sent down to the D League, he averaged a near double double this year in only 27 mpg. His athleticism and finishing ability make him a dangerous offensive threat and his 7-7 wingspan gives him defensive prowess.

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