Progressing Through The System
Las Vegas, Nev. • July 23, 2010
Rudy Gay, the 6-8 forward from the Memphis Grizzies, has donned a USA Basketball jersey a couple of times in the past.
He was on the 2005 USA U21 World Championship Team that finished with a 7-1 record in Mar del Plata, Argentina. He returned to the red, white and blue in 2009 and participated in the USA Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas and posted an impressive 27 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the field in the ’09 USA Basketball Showcase. And this past week, Gay has impressed as one of the young NBA talents participating in the 2010 Men's National Team training camp in Las Vegas.
Before the 2010 Men's National Team breaks camp in Las Vegas with the 2010 USA Basketball Showcase at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, USA Basketball caught up with the four-year NBA vet after Friday's training session to talk about life as a pro, his past international playing experience and what playing for USA Basketball means to him.
How have you spent your time from the end of the regular season until now?
Gay: “I haven’t done anything except get ready for this. I knew I had a short summer ahead of me and wanted to be in the best shape possible for this.”
What is your favorite hobby outside basketball?
Gay: “I can’t say I do much other than play basketball. I try to play golf but you can’t just take a week off from golf otherwise you will be as just as terrible as you started. So I don’t golf, I don’t like to swim. Actually I do box. I’ve always liked boxing and it helps keep me in shape.”
Who was your role model or idol growing up that you wanted to pattern your game after?
Gay: “I’m a student of the game. Whatever I liked from a certain player I tried to do. It’s not just one player I looked up to but rather a bunch of them.”
What is your favorite NBA arena on the road to play in?
Gay: “I would have to say in DC (Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards) since I’m from Baltimore. It’s only 45 minutes away. I would say either there or Los Angeles or Miami because of the weather. And, of course, New York.”
How fast have your first four years gone by in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies?
Gay: “It’s like I went to sleep and woke up and I’m five years in.”
You played for USA Basketball in a different capacity in 2005. What can you take from that experience that will help you now with this USA National team as it prepares for the World Championship?
Gay: “I guess it shows progression. Not a lot of guys get the chance to do what we are doing right now. It’s a blessing and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
What would it mean to you to make this team and represent the country in the World Championship?
Gay: “It would mean so much to me. I’ve talked to Coach K and told him how bad I want to play. He will help me with what he wants me to do out there. Hopefully I make it. It would be the highlight of my career.”