Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

George Hill chose youth basketball camp over Team USA


George Hill told Team USA that he wouldn't be able to attend their elite training camp for young players in Las Vegas due to "a scheduling conflict."

That scheduling conflict? A youth camp he hosts, touring cities on the Texas border between the United States and Mexico.

On one hand, it's extremely honorable that the 27-year-old upheld his commitment to children he'd promised he'd help: he's done the camps in South Texas since being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in 2009. He'd committed to the camps before getting the invite from Team USA.

But it is strange that he'd accept the invitation to Team USA, then back out. Hill admitted that he thinks his ability to play with Team USA will be affected in the future. This week's training camp in Las Vegas was intended to select guys who can fill roles for the star-studded senior team at next year's 2014 World Cup in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Team USA program has made a point of rewarding guys who made the commitment to play in similar training camps and run-up tournaments, so Hill can probably count out his hopes of playing for the national side in the future.

Hill, a late first-round pick in 2008, has come into his own with the Indiana Pacers, going from a player with few skills besides rangy defense to an all-around player, averaging 14.2 points and 4.7 points as his hometown team's starting point guard this year. He could be useful with a USA squad, but they're likely set at point guard with players like Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving showing commitment, not to mention John Wall, Damian Lillard, and other younger players in the mix.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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