Without taking another step onto a Team USA practice floor, De’Aaron Fox’s chances of making the FIBA World Cup roster just spiked dramatically.
Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry has withdrawn from consideration, leaving Fox and Kemba Walker as the only two remaining point guards on the roster with less than three weeks remaining before the opening match against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1.
“I was hoping [to] be cleared and ready for the tournament, but I was not cleared for full basketball activities,” Lowry said via Instagram. “I was hoping to be available in time to help my country in their quest for gold this coming tournament. I love playing for USAB, but I have to sit this one out and support the team from home. At the end of the day, I believe the men that are playing will be great and will win gold for our country...GO USAB!!”
Lowry made an appearance at Team USA in Las Vegas last week, but he was still in a splint from offseason thumb surgery. While he wasn’t able to suit up, he still acted as a mentor to Fox as the camp progressed.
“They told me to come out here and play the way I play,” Fox said following the first day of camp. “Kyle [Lowry] was showing me some of the ropes and telling me never slow down, always play fast, but of course, be poised.”
Fox played his way into contention for a roster spot with his strong performance last week, including a 12-point, three-rebound, three-assist, three-steal, and two-block stat line for the Senior National Team in Friday’s scrimmage.
With Lowry out of action and Kings forward Marvin Bagley opting to stay home, the roster is down to 15 players competing this week in Los Angeles for 12 spots. The door is open for Fox to not only make the FIBA World Cup squad, but to take on even a larger role with the team.