(ABC4) – There’s a 16-hour time difference between Portland, Oregon and Tokyo, Japan but when Team USA hits the floor for the Men’s Basketball tournament at the Summer Games at the end of July, it’ll be Dame Time, all the time.
The former Weber State University star, who has developed into an NBA superstar with the Portland Trail Blazers, which drafted him sixth overall in the 2012 draft, has been named to the USA Basketball squad. The announcement was officially made on Monday.
Lillard will become just the second Weber State athlete to ever compete in the Summer Olympics, the other being steeplechase runner Lindsey Anderson, who ran in the 2008 Beijing Games.
A third-team All-American selection at Weber State in 2012, Lillard has been at the center of NBA rumors this summer. Multiple reports from various sports outlets are claiming that he has become somewhat disgruntled in Portland and may seek a trade to a more championship ready team. In addition to appearing on the floor in Japan, Lillard is also set to have a role in the upcoming summer blockbuster, Space Jam: A New Legacy, as one of the members of the “Goon Squad,” which will play against LeBron James’ Tune Squad in the sequel to the 1996 classic film.
This will be Lillard’s first time competing in the Olympics. Other career accolades include six All-Star Game selections, six All-NBA honors, the NBA Teammate of the Year Award, and the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year title.
Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was extended an invitation to join Team USA in Japan, but the All-Star guard elected to forgo the opportunity to rehab and recover from an ankle injury that was bothersome during the team’s playoff run.
Other collegiate stars from Utah headed to Tokyo include Utah gymnasts MyKayla Skinner and Grace McCallum, who earned spots on the squad with strong outings at the U.S. Olympic Trials in St. Louis on Sunday.
Lillard’s teammates in Tokyo will include Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks) and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics). The squad will be led by head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.