After being cut from the Team USA trials two summers ago, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is ready to take full advantage of his first opportunity to represent his country in the Olympics.
Adebayo said it's one of the biggest honors of his career. This week, he began practicing with the Olympics team in Las Vegas.
“It means a lot,” Adebayo said earlier this week. “I get to wear USA across my chest and go out there and compete against different countries and get to see a different side of the world. So it’s a great opportunity for that, also. It’ll be great to get the gold medal, because I’m not only representing the USA, I’m representing my family, my team, my city. And everybody’s counting on me. So it’s a big responsibility.”
Adebayo, who is set to enter his fourth NBA season, has already made an impression on Olympic coach Gregg Popovich, who is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
"He's active, he's a rebounder, he runs," Popovich said. "He knows how to play with teammates. ... He's going to be very valuable to us and obviously our best rebounder."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the experience should only help Adebayo as his game continues to evolve.
“This summer, the opportunity to compete for a gold medal is the perfect thing for Bam," Adebayo said. "I couldn’t be happier for him to be able to go through this experience.”
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