Myles Turner has been participating in training camp with USA Basketball in Las Vegas this week. It’s not his first time being part of the program.
The first experience that Myles had with USA Basketball occurred back in 2014 during the 17th annual Nike Hoop Summit. He injured his ankle during the game and had his first experience in a USA Basketball uniform cut short, but he still greatly valued the experience.
“The Nike Hoop Summit was a great opportunity for me moving forward,” Myles told the USA Basketball’s official website. “It was my first time being involved with USA Basketball, and to be invited back, it is a real honor and a blessing.”
“Anytime I can come out here and represent the country I was born in, it’s exciting and a crazy opportunity.”
During the summer of 2014, Myles then earned a spot on the USA U18 National Team. The experience to play for the gold medal was something that particularly motivated him and the team ended up accomplishing that goal by defeating Canada 113-79 in the championship game.
“I’m most excited about that medal,” he said. “That’s been on my bucket list, to win a gold medal for my country, and to have the opportunity to play for that, it’s huge; it’s a motivating factor.”
By the end of the five-game run, Myles averaged 7.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks. The defensive presence that he provided during that particular run was felt as he recorded a USA U18 competition record with 18 blocks in five games. The previous record was 13 and was set back in 1994 by Tim Young and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
Something that Myles looked forward to about playing for the USA U18 National Team was the experience of being able to learn from some of the nation’s top college coaches like Billy Donovan, Sean Miller, and Ed Cooley.
“Being able to be coached by some of these college coaches, coach Donovan, coach Sean Miller (University of Arizona) and coach Ed Cooley (Providence College) have been one of my favorite things throughout this whole experience,” he said.
“They are all major coaches in the game right now and being able to be under their direction as I am right now, has probably been the best opportunity.”
The next opportunity that Myles received from USA Basketball was in 2016 as a member of the USA Select Team. While he was only there to practice for four days with the main roster, it was a valuable experience for him to go up against elite players.
Before this particular camp, Myles had a goal of leaving a strong impression with the program. Managing to impress the coaches would help his odds of being invited back to be a member of the roster that would compete in the 2020 Olympics.
“It’s a very important step for me and I’m very prepared for it,” he told the IndyStar. “It’s where I want to be one day. I’m ready for it.”
“I approach each day with a different goal in mind. What can I get accomplished that day, and I don’t leave until I get the goal accomplished. I’m very focused and dedicated to where I want to go and what I want to be one day.”
This summer features a chance for Myles to compete for one of the center spots on the 2019 USA FIBA Basketball World Cup team.