Cody Zeller has been named to USA Men's Select team ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to the Charlotte Hornets:
OFFICIAL: @usabasketball names @hornets C @CodyZeller to the 2016 Select Team to compete in Las Vegas against USA Men's Team. 1 of 25 chosen— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) June 7, 2016
Zeller is one of 25 players that will compete against the US Men's Olympic team as they prepare for the summer games. Other notable names on the roster include NBA players CJ McCollum, Zach LaVine, and Myles Turner, along with recent college graduates and upcoming draft picks Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine.
The Select team is essentially designed to get more players into the national team circuit. It's highly unlikely that any of these players will make this summer's Olympic team (barring every major star deciding against participating) but it does give these players a chance to compete against the Olympic roster, and gives the coaching staff a chance to get an extended look at how these players perform in this kind of setting. The stakes are a little higher with this group however, given that Gregg Popovich, who will take over as head coach of the national team in 2017, will be coaching the Select team. If there was any opportunity to impress the future national team coach, this would be it.
And while it may seem a far stretch to suggest Zeller would be in the mix to make the senior team, remember that players like Mason Plumlee and Tayshaun Prince have made it in the past. National team coaches don't necessarily go with the best 12-15 players available, and instead select those that fit their style of play, and those they can ultimately trust. Yes, the likes of Lebron James and Stephen Curry are locks to make it if they want to play, but those last roster spots are typically up for grabs. For Zeller, this is an opportunity to put himself in the good graces of the future head coach.
The Select team will train with the Olympic team from July 18th through the 21st.