USA Basketball announced the pool of 35 playersfor the 2018-2020 national team cycle and it includes Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Introducing the 2018-20 USA Basketball Men's National Team pool:— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) April 6, 2018
1⃣7⃣ Olympic gold medalists
3⃣0⃣ returning members of the USA Men's National Team pool
3⃣5⃣ athletes in all
» https://t.co/ElOmTQbGyF pic.twitter.com/3gekcb6f5a
The United States National Team selects a pool of players to compete throughout a 2-4 year cycle. The roster for is chosen from that pool for each international competition.
Upcoming competitions include the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, for which qualification is underway. Team USA has completed the first two legs of the first round of qualification, using players from the NBAGL and various international leagues due to the qualifiers taking place during the NBA season. This will likely continue, as qualification continues through 2018 into February of 2019.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup will take place August 31 - September 15 2019 in eight cities throughout China. The United States has won the last two World Cups in 2010 and 2014, to add to championships in 1954, 1982 and 1994.
The cycle also includes the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The two teams who finish highest in in the 2019 FIBA World Cup from the FIBA Americas zone will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Hayward has previously taken part in four USA Basketball competitions. He was part of the 2009 Under-19 World Cup team and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. He was also part of the USA Select Team in 2012 (a group of young players selected to practice with and scrimmage against Team USA) and part of the USA Player Pool in both 2014 and 2015.
Irving’s USA Basketball experience is even more extensive. He started with Team USA as part of the gold medal winning 2008 Under-18 team in the Americas Championship. Irving then was teammates with Hayward on the 2012 USA Select Team. Following that Irving was part of the player pool from 2014-2016, ultimately playing in both the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold medals with both teams. In addition, Irving was voted the MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup and made the 2014 FIBA World Cup All-Tournament Team.
Neither Hayward or Irving is expected to take part in Team USA activities during the summer of 2018, as both are recovering from surgeries. Hayward should be nearing the end of his rehab from the ankle/leg injuries he suffered on opening night of the 2017-18 NBA season. Irving will be recovering from undergoing knee surgery late in the 2017-18 NBA regular season. Both players will be a part of the USA Basketball pool through 2020, giving them the opportunity to play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup or 2020 Summer Olympics.