3 Hidden Benefits of OKC Thunder players participating in FIBA World Cup

Josh Giddey poses during an Australian Boomers (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey poses during an Australian Boomers (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Jaren Jackson Jr. #13 of the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team sets a screen for teammate Jalen Brunson #11 as he brings the ball up the court against Jalen Williams #37 of the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s Select Team (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder youngsters pushed Team USA and got better in the process.

Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren were each tabbed to the Team USA Select squad, a unit tasked with preparing the varsity USA squad for the 2023 World Cup. While the 2022 Lottery picks will only see game action in case of a possible injury replacement, it is still an added benefit for the duo.

Since the beginning of International competition, players have bragged about how playing in the summer against NBA players in a more competitive environment helps them grow. Even last year, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander attributed his growth to playing in the Team Canada FIBA qualifiers.

This young OKC duo are self-proclaimed basketball junkies, so being a sponge around top-tier NBA talent and a Team USA coaching staff that is made up of the likes of Steve Kerr, Chip Engelland, and other elite names, is going to help their games grow.

Especially for Chet Holmgren, who needs as much game-like playing time as he can get after being shelved for a year with a foot injury. Jalen Williams was able to get in more runs after putting on a ton of muscle mass this Summer, and the select team turned heads.

Led by Cade Cunningham and the Thunder duo, the select squad knocked off the varsity USA team twice in ten-minute scrimmages during training camp in Vegas.

Next. OKC Thunder big man gives insight to training camp plans. dark