Saddiq Bey was one of three players elevated from the USA Select Team to Team USA along to fill in for players who are still playing in the NBA Finals. While it’s likely the honor is only temporary, it’s a sign that Bey, despite just concluding his rookie season, plays winning basketball on both ends of the floor.
Be it in the NBA or on the national stage, Detroit Pistons 19th pick from last year draft, Bey is making strides. In his rookie campaign in the best sport league in the world, he was awarded with Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor and was on pace to break the all-time record of most made triples by a first-year player, where only the shortened season could stop him. Now his international career is seeing similarly impressive accolades.
Bey being chosen to the USA Men’s Select Team with fellow Pistons rookie, Isaiah Stewart, was his first experience with national team. In camp, he exhibited the same type of mentality that guided him to the Player of the Week title. Bey’s stated mission: “Continuing to work and just trying to be the best I can.” He also said he looked forward to taking all the wisdom from the opportunity to “play against different guys, in a different role [where] you have to adapt, run other systems, sets.”
It paid great dividends as he impressed the coaching staff including Gregg Popovich and was elevated to Team USA along with Keldon Johnson and Darius Garland to fill in for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton who will join the squad after the NBA Finals.
Isaiah Stewart might have also been elevated to the team, but an ankle injury – no indication that it is serious – forced Stewart to bow out of the Select Team. Team USA assistant coach Erik Spoelstra was apparently a fan of both Detroit rookies.
Spo, who is coaching, on Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart: "They're in a great program, particularly for development, under Coach Casey. ... Both of them have very promising futures."— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) July 7, 2021
We’ll be able to watch Saddiq play for team USA today at 8 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. Team USA will take on the Nigerian national team in a preparation game before the Olympics. And the game will feature three players with connections to Detroit. Jerami Grant is a permanent member of Team USA and the Nigerian team features current Pistons big man Jahlil Okafor and former Pistons player Michael Gbinije.
Other Pistons players connected to national teams — Cory Joseph’s Canada didn’t make it; France’s national team will not include Sekou Doumbouya or Killian Hayes .. for now, and the Lithuanian national team, where Deividas Sirvydis hails, did not qualify for the Olympics.