Paul George won’t participate in USA Basketball mini-camp

Avon, Ind. — Paul George has decided to shut it down for the summer and says he will not participate in USA Basketball mini-camp August 11-13 in Las Vegas.

“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 Saturday morning at his second annual basketball camp held at Avon High School.

George suffered a compound fracture in his right leg at mini-camp almost one year ago — August 1 — and he believes it’s best for him to “lay low.” He is happy with the progress he’s made, both with his leg and calf strain, an injury that occurred in the final minute of the Pacers’ final regular season game.

Paul George works with a camper at his camp at Avon High School.

Paul George works with a camper at his camp at Avon High School.

“It almost seems like it happened ages ago,” George said of his broken leg. “I forget sometimes it was less than a year (ago). It hasn’t really been in the back of my mind anymore. I’m kind of beyond that faze.

“That’s the good thing. I’m not going on the court and having flashbacks or thinking about coming down wrong. I’ve just been out on the court playing and just working out, and that’s been a great thing for me.”

George has played about “three or four” pick-up games, including games at the Nike Academy against college and high school kids.

“I held up well,” he said. “My body held up well and that was a plus for me.”

George is still determined to be with USA Basketball for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he believes the Pacers are on board with that.

“Larry [Bird] of all people knows how important it is to play and represent for your country,” George added. “So regardless of the situation, I know he’s got my back on that one. And it’s a personal goal. 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.”

Next up for PG: He’ll travel to Beijing next week for appearances with Nike.

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