While USC faces self-imposed sanctions due to allegations that O.J. Mayo received cash and gifts during his tenure at USC, Mayo is looking forward to playing for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
Mayo joins a pool of 27 NBA players who will represent USA Basketball from 2010 until 2012. USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced the members of the team yesterday. Alongside Mayo will be nine members from the 2008 U.S. Olympic team who won the gold, and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski will maintain his position as the team’s head coach.
Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies and his teammates will be training for the 2010 FIBA World Championship that will be held in Turkey from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12. The team’s ultimate goal is to qualify for and win the gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Krzyzewski will once again stress teamwork and catering to each player’s strengths as the formula for success for the 2010-2012 team. Mayo is already pleased with the chemistry the team is showing in practice.
“So many times when you’re competing for spots and playing for something much larger guys tend to get off rhythm,” Mayo said to The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tennessee. “But the guys were playing together, really having fun and competing hard. It means a lot to be a part of it.”
While at USC for only the 2007-2008 season, Mayo averaged 20.7 points per game and helped the Trojans earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans lost in the first round to Kansas State. However, Mayo’s year at USC is tainted with allegations that Rodney Guillory, a Los Angeles events promoter, accepted about $200,000 from a Northern California sports agency, and then allegedly transferred the money to Mayo.
Mayo, who was the third pick of the first round from the 2008 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, is currently in his second season with the Grizzlies and has a career average of 18.2 points per game. He was the runner-up to Derrick Rose for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and was a member of the 2008 USA Basketball Select Team.