The Houston Rockets have not had a member of the USA Basketball team since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1996. Today league sources told Yahoo Sports that Rockets All-Star Dwight Howard will make his return to USA Basketball after a six year absence during the 2014 World Cup of Basketball.
Howard’s return to the Team USA pool of players for the World Cup in Spain this summer could clear the way for the seven-time All-Star center to be part of the national team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
USA Basketball is expected to soon announce a pool of players, including Howard, that will be available for USA Basketball training camp and the World Cup this summer. Howard could be part of an American frontcourt rotation that will likely include Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis and LaMarcus Aldridge. Damn!
As part of Team USA, Howard won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but has since spent his summers away from the national team. Howard, 28, played for Team USA in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and the 2006 World Championships.
The USA Basketball team relied heavily upon Tyson Chandler during the 2012 Olympics, and having Howard averaging 18 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a game will help tremendously internationally. The world-wide spotlight will also help to continue to aid in Howard’s popularity.