Wizards

Beal on getting the call to play for Team USA

Wizards

Bradley Beal knew it was about something important when he received a call from U.S.A. men's basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo last month.

"Once you get a call from him, it's all business. It's either you're going to the Hall [of Fame] or you're going to USA Basketball," Beal told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

It was, of course, the latter. Colangelo wanted Beal to be a member of the U.S. men's national team at the Summer Olympics, which are set to begin in a couple weeks in Tokyo, Japan. And Beal said yes, as he is currently at Team USA's training camp in Las Vegas, preparing to play for a gold medal alongside other American NBA stars.

"The call was straightforward, man. It didn't take me long to answer. I knew what I was going to do because this opportunity doesn't always come," Beal said.

"He was like 'I want you, you have a spot if you want it.' Granted, I had to talk it over with the family and see what they thought, but they all gave me their blessing. It was an easy answer for me."

Related: For Beal, playing on Team USA a chance to learn from the best

Beal also heard from Sean Ford, the men's national team director. Beal and Ford have a longstanding relationship dating back to Beal's days on the U.S. junior national team. Beal has two gold medals he won as a teenager representing his country.

 

Playing in the Olympics, though, is a completely different level. He will now share the floor with the very best players in the world like Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum.

Needless to say, it's an honor to be part of the team.

"For one, it's the biggest blessing ever for me individually and then us collectively as a team. We're representing more than our names on the back. We're representing those three letters on the front of our jersey. We understand that's our goal," Beal said. 

"We've got one goal in mind and that is to bring the gold home. It's amazing when you have 12 guys that are stars on their teams and they're able to come together and sacrifice for the benefit of winning. It's fun to be a part of."

Beal will wear No. 4 for Team USA, which begins their exhibition schedule this Saturday with a game against Nigeria. They play their first game in Tokyo on July 25 against France.

See more of Chris Miller's interview with Beal Thursday on News4 at 5 and News4 at 6 PM.