Creighton forward Doug McDermott will have a second opportunity to represent the United States in international play, following the announcement of the 29-man, training-camp roster for July’s World University games to be held in Kazan, Russia.
McDermott’s spot on the squad is not yet guaranteed, but he joins Duke’s Quinn Cook and Stanford’s Chasson Randle as the only players who have experience representing the U.S.A. overseas. The final roster will be determined following a weeklong training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, ending on June 30. McDermott’s name isn’t inked on the final roster yet, but he is more confident in his ability to contend with the country’s elite than he was two summers ago when he tried out for, and made, the U-19 World Championship Team, which competed in Latvia.
“That’s kind of where I made a name for myself, was when I started playing with USA. That next year was, like I said, my best year here. So this year I’m more confident going in it, thought I have a better chance to make the team,” said McDermott. “Now it’s just a matter of, I really want to get that gold medal. I’m not worried about as much making the team and establishing a role, I’m focusing on getting that gold medal.”
The two-time All American wasn’t immediately certain he was up for another stint of international play. After his coach, and father, Greg McDermott informed him of the potential opportunity, the Bluejay superstar took some time to figure out what he wanted to do. After a few weeks of deliberation, the opportunity to potentially represent his nation a second time was too much to pass up.
“You don’t realize how cool it is until you throw on that jersey in front of a bunch of different countries’ fans,” said McDermott. “It’s something special, you take the team aspect of it more seriously. Not a lot of those guys are selfish that you get to play with, so its all for our country.”
Creighton’s all-time leading scorer also mentioned that he had already spoken with the coach for the World University Games, Davidson’s Bob McKillop. The veteran coach expects McDermott to assume a leadership role due to his experience, which will challenge McDermott.
“I haven’t really been asked to be a huge leader on this Creighton team. So, that’s another thing I looked at. If I really want to play USA basketball, it’s going to help my leadership going into my senior year.,” said McDermott. “This will be a challenge for me because I’m not use to it. I’ve always had guys like Grant (Gibbs, or Greg (Echenique) or Antoine (Young), guys that have helped me lead the team. Now I’ll have to be a more vocal.”
The training camp will also give McDermott a chance to compete against a few guys he will face in his final collegiate season. Bryce Cotton, of Providence, and Davante Gardner, of Marquette, will also represent the new-look Big East in Colorado Springs.
Full Training Camp Roster