LAS VEGAS (CBS) — Two Bulls players are making the most of their offseason – with Zach LaVine going for a gold medal.
LaVine is getting his first shot at the Olympics. He is training in Las Vegas with the rest of the star-studded roster before heading to Tokyo.
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Team USA lost their first exhibition game Saturday night against Nigeria, but that is not a cause for concern. This is a chance of a lifetime that LaVine knows will only be making him better when he returns to Chicago.
“I was really ecstatic to be selected and have the opportunity to come out here and compete for your country. Learning from these guys, you know, we’re all at the top of our game – and to be able to come here and collaborate and soak it up – compete with these guys each day, you know, you can’t do anything but get better, so you just try to do what you can to help the team win. This isn’t about individual things or accolades. We’re literally going there representing the country; representing yourself, your family, the team you play for – to go win a gold medal,” LaVine said. “I just want to bring back winning – a winning mentality. All of these guys have been around winning. It’s going to be, you know, probably the best team I’ll be around. So to go out here and try to complete for gold and pick up little tricks – and you know, just their mentalities; how they approach practice, pregame, things like that – talk to the locker room – you know, all of that stuff, I’ll try to bring back, and that adds a little extra ammo for my own wellbeing.”
Bulls teammate Patrick Williams has also been recruited by USA Basketball as one of the young players selected to practice against the Olympic team in Vegas. Williams is taking full advantage of learning from the best.
“Just being a sponge to anybody and everybody – I mean, you have the best of the best here. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here – whether it’s a coach or a nutritionist, or, you know – anybody. Not being afraid to ask questions. Kind of stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit, and being a little more vocal; look more intellectual,” Williams said, “but like I said, it’s an opportunity. I just can’t let it pass me by.”
The USA Men’s team plays another exhibition game Monday night against Argentina.