14 May 2012
USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has announced that Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward has accepted an invitation to join this year’s team at the Olympics, reports Michael C. Lewis of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Hayward will be a welcome addition to the American squad, as injuries have ravaged an originally promising roster. LaMarcus Aldridge, Chauncey Billups, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose all suffered injuries this season that put their status for this summer’s Games in doubt. James Harden and Anthony Davis were added to the Team USA roster earlier this month, but more help was still needed.
Hayward is a promising young player — the former No. 9 overall draft pick started for the playoff-bound Utah Jazz this year, averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in his second pro season.
Coach K and Hayward share an interesting connection — the coach’s Duke Blue Devils beat the youngster’s Butler Bulldogs in the NCAA Tournament final in 2010. Hayward missed a desperate halfcourt shot at the buzzer to end March Madness.
I don't think that Hayward will see any minutes this summer, and with Coach K coaching his last Olympic team, Hayward may never get PT on the olympic team. However, getting on the Olympic team is a process of growth, and starting from the bottom and working your way up. Hayward, (and Favors) are in the pipeline to be on the team in 2016.
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