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July 23, 2013July 23, 2013 - As a player entering his fourth year, former Hoya Greg Monroe is firmly in the process of establishing himself as a prominent National Basketball Association player. There's something about dropping 16 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season that can brand a young player as ascendant. To put that in perspective, Monroe was one of only three players to average greater than 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the 'L' last season.
Add an USA Basketball invitation to his professional resume of: Being drafted seventh in 2010 by the Detroit Pistons, was sixth in Rookie of the Year voting that season, a member of the league's 2nd team All-Rookie outfit, and a year later participating in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge all star game.
Starting yesterday, USA Basketball, the organization tasked with fielding teams that compete under the American banner in international competitions is holding a mini-camp, one designed to cull a critical mass of talent for upcoming competitions, including next year's FIBA National World Cup in Spain.
Monroe has talked publicly about making the squad, having an eye towards the competition faced and possibly representing his country.
"Being invited to the Team USA mini-camp is definitely an honor...I'm excited to be playing against some of the best young talent in the NBA for a few days and hope to gain experience I can use going forward", said the 6'11", 260 pound forward to the Piston's website.
Detroit's major newspaper, the Free-Press published these comments: "I've been working for it, preparing myself to go out there and play. It's a great opportunity. To be in a situation like that with so many good young players competing is rare so I definitely look at it as an opportunity to get better.
"But I want to be on that team. There's no secret about that. I definitely would love to play and represent my country doing the thing that I love. I'm going to go out there focused. I know I'm going to get better and I know I'm going to have fun. It's going to be the best competition you can get in the summer time."
As a Hoya between 2008-2010, Monroe chipped in 14.4 points and 8.1 caroms each time out. He also was tabbed to the All-BIG EAST rookie crew while on the Hilltop, was all-league during his sophomore campaign, and third team third team AP All-American that year as well, plus garnered the Pete Newell Big Man Award.
Greg's previous USA Basketball experience consists of competing on the 2008 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team and a year early playing in the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival.
We will have more on Monroe in USA Basketball, as well as an exclusive on his summertime training going forward.
Chauncey Billups talked about Monroe's chances with USA Basketball and his game generally on NBA TV. We have his comments on our Premium Court message board. Billups, a NBA and USA Basketball veteran, is also a new teammate of Monroe's, having recently returned to the Pistons.
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