Fred VanVleet is having a heck of a season (after having a heck of an offseason), and it only looks to be getting better: The fifth-year Toronto Raptors guard is reportedly one of 60 selectees to Team USA’s initial player pool for the
2020 2021 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Credit to OG Raptors beat reporter Doug Smith with the well-sourced news drop!
Now: Did you forget there’s (allegedly) a Summer Olympics happening this year? We don’t blame you! As a refresher, this Olympiad was set to take place last summer, but was postponed, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As you surely haven’t forgotten, said pandemic is still very much a reality, and in many places in the world, getting worse all the time. So if it still seems like lunacy to you to consider gathering thousands of athletes together in one place — one of the most densely populated cities in the entire world, in fact — to run and jump and throw some balls around, all in close proximity to one another, well, we don’t blame you for that either.
Nonetheless! Countries and teams are preparing as if the games are a go. And that means USA Basketball is gearing up too, and VanVleet’s name is, deservedly, on their list. He’s currently leading the Raptors in minutes per game and in scoring at 19.2 ppg. Not bad for an undrafted, undersized guard from a small school!
VanVleet’s not the only Raptor on Team USA’s list, either: backcourt mate Kyle Lowry is reportedly also on the initial list.
Lowry’s been an Olympian before, winning a gold medal in 2016. Both players are exactly the type of no-nonsense, come-in-and-do-my-job guards that a typically star-studded team USA needs to help lead it to success.
The full list of 60 player names will reportedly be announced later this month. The Olympics are set to begin on July 23.