Team USA snub motivates Wall

  • Michael Prosser

John Wall, seen here during a Wizards home game, is using his USA snub as motivation to get better (courtesy of CBS Sports)

Last week, 28 names were announced as players considered for the USA Basketball’s national teams to be used in both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics and the Washington Wizards did have a representative; but it’s not who you think.

Former 3rd overall pick in 2012 and University of Florida standout Bradley Beal was named as one of the 14 new comers that the committee could choose from. Yes it was one half of the BealinWall but not the half that everyone expected. But is John Wall mad about it? Not one bit. In fact the former Number one overall pick from Kentucky is using this snub as motivation to get better.

“I just use it as more motivation.  It’s nothing I could do. It’s nothing I can say, and I don’t want nobody to babysit me or try to make it work for me. They made their list, they made their decision and that’s what they’re happy with, and I just have to look past that.”

John Wall on being snubbed from Team USA’s selection pool

One might find it strange that a guy who’s averaging 20 points/game is not included in a pool of returning players, but with Wall playing in what Team USA decided as one of the deepest positions they had, he was overlooked in favor of names like Russel Westbrook (injured), Derrick Rose (out for the year), and Damian Lillard, who averages .7 points more per game than Wall. And those are just three of the seven point guards on this list. Those three join Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving as the seven point guards in the pool; Irving and Curry both rank in the Top 15 in points per game with Curry coming in at an impressive 6th.

This however isn’t the first big named pool of players that John Wall has been left out of. Despite playing in the 2009 Nike Hoops Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic, Wall was not named a McDonald’s All American, which lead to him not being able to participate in the famed All-Star game.

“It’s more motivation because I didn’t make the McDonald’s [high school All-American] game. I wasn’t national player of the year. I wasn’t rookie of the year. So those are just tabs I keep to motivate myself to prove people wrong.”

The 2009 McDonalds All American game featured NBA’ers DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, Derrick Favors, Lance Stephenson, Mason Plumlee, Xavier Henry, and Avery Bradley. The game also featured Milton Jennings, the highest rated player to ever sign a letter of commitment to play for the Clemson Tigers, but was thrown off the team after being arrested for possession of marijuana. Jennings subsequently went undrafted and is playing his professional ball in Italy.

It’s no question that John Wall will continue to shine as a member of the Washington Wizards, and it’s no doubt in mind that Wall will one day represent his country. The kid is only 23 years old and still has a TON of basketball ahead of him to play. Wizards fans are truly lucky to have a player like John Wall to bring the franchise into the forefront of the NBA. Of course he’ll bounce back! This kid not only has turned into a prolific scorer in the NBA, but he’s a former 1st overall pick, and he has his own dance named after him! How many people can say that? LeBron James can’t say that! He’ll be back, and he’ll be back better than ever!

 

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Michael Prosser

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