Paul George one of 34 players confirmed for USA Basketball mini-camp

Pacers star Paul George has confirmed his attendance to next week’s USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas, which runs Aug. 11-13.

George, however, isn’t planning to workout at the three-day camp or participate in the scrimmage on the final day at the Thomas & Mack Center.

George says he still “dreams of lifting that gold medal.”

“I’ll probably shut down this summer, just because it’s probably smart for me health wise just to take that week to rest and do it good justice for my body,” George said last month at his basketball camp.

Just last Saturday was the one-year mark of George’s brutal injury suffered during a USA Basketball scrimmage. That injury, which required immediate surgery for a compound fracture in his right leg, kept him out of all but six Pacers games during the 2014-15 season.

“We recognize and understand that some of our players’ availability to participate is still up in the air,” said USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo, who has previously said that attendance is necessary to be considered for the 2016 Olympic Team.

“Some players are coming off of injuries and are not yet ready to actively participate, or they are getting ready for their NBA seasons. So, it’s a good thing that we don’t have a competition to get ready for this summer.”

When I asked Pacers President Larry Bird about it last month, he appreciated George laying low.

“After what happened, I think he owes us a chance to see him develop throughout the summer and get better,” Bird said. “And then worry about that down the road.”

At the end of July, George toured Asia with Nike Basketball to inspire others through the game. At one stop in Manila, George successfully completed multiple spectacular dunks.

George, who’s just 25, remains determined to represent and play for his country — like next summer at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“… It’s a personal goal,” he said. “Injuries are a part of the game. The last thing I’ll do is let that keep me from making a dream happen. No hard feelings towards none of the situation. It’s part of the game.

“I still have … dreams of lifting that gold medal. That’s definitely a motivation.”

Bird, who won a gold medal as part of the 1992 Dream Team, says he backs his star — assuming the Pacers owner does as well.

“If that’s what he’s got to do and that’s what he wants to do, I’m behind him 100 percent,” Bird added. “Now if my owner [Herb Simon] comes in and tells me no, I’ll have him talk to (Paul). We encourage our players to play for their country.”

Two players of local interest to participate: Indiana natives Mike Conley and Gordon Hayward, plus former IU standout Victor Oladipo.

The entire list of players expected in Las Vegas, via USA Basketball.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
  • Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
  • Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
  • Kevin Durant(Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
  • Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)
  • Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
  • Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • James Harden (Houston Rockets)
  • Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
  • Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Mason Plumlee(Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
  • John Wall (Washington Wizards)
  • Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

And the eight newest players invited to camp:

  • Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
  • Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
  • Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic)
  • DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic)

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