FIBA: Williamson withdraws from Team USA select group

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jul 23 2019 10:14 AM

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) sits on the sidelines before the start of an NBA Summer League game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Thomas & Mack Center. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Zion Williamson withdrew from the Team USA Select Team on Monday, closing the door on any chance he had of being promoted to the departure-ravaged main roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

No reason for Williamson's exit was given by The Athletic, the entity that first reported the withdrawal. The Athletic cited managing director Jerry Colangelo as its source.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans, was one of 10 "select" up-and-coming players chosen to participate in the Team USA training camp, which begins Aug. 5 in Las Vegas.

"We want to indoctrinate him in terms of USA Basketball," Colangelo said last month of the 19-year-old forward from Duke. "We want to give him a platform to see how he can compete with some of the vets that are going to be there."

Williamson pulled out on the same day that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris withdrew from the Team USA roster.

Overall, six players have backed out, including Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, James Harden and Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets, and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The competition runs from Aug. 31-Sept. 15, with Team USA playing its first game on Sept. 1 against the Czech Republic.

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