LAFAYETTE — As expected, Louisiana-Lafayette forward Shawn Long was one of 22 players invited to try out for the U.S. Pan American Games men’s basketball team.
Long will compete against 15 other collegians and six professionals — including former LSU standout Anthony Randolph — for a spot on the 12-man roster. This year’s Pan American Games start July 21 in Toronto.
The training camp is July 7-12 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After the team is selected, it will train July 13-16 at the Chicago Bulls’ practice facility.
“It’s a tough team to make, but it’s a great opportunity for Shawn to be in front of a lot of people,” Cajuns coach Bob Marlin said.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few will be the team’s head coach, with Colorado’s Tad Boyle and former NBA coach Mike Brown serving as his assistants. Georgia State coach Ron Hunter will be one of three court coaches during training camp.
“Coach Few and his staff are going to have a very competitive training camp before we decide on the Pan America Games roster for USA Basketball,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, chair of the committee responsible for player and coach selections. “There is a tremendous collection of talented players with varying skill sets who will be trying out. There’s no question the ones who ultimately make the team will form a team capable of challenging for the gold medal.”
Long announced shortly after the conclusion of the 2014-15 season that he would return for his senior year after averaging 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. He became just the third player in program history to top 1,000 rebounds in his career, and he likely will set the Cajuns’ all-time marks in rebounding and blocked shots if he maintains his pace.
Long likely would have heard his name called in the second round of last week’s NBA draft if he had chosen the professional path rather than returning to school. Marlin said he thought Long made a wise decision that allowed him to fine-tune his game before testing NBA waters.
Marlin said Long has been impressive this summer and has been putting in work to shape his physique.
“He’s really watching his body and working with our strength coach, Jason Manikowski, trying to get better from that standpoint,” Marlin said. “He’s trying to gain muscle, but at the same time he really watches what he eats and wants to slim down, but we’ve got to do it the right way.”
Long recently participated in the Nike Skills Academy in Santa Monica, California, where Josh Parrott of Basketball Times reported he measured in at taller than 6-foot-10 with a 7-1 wingspan. The Cajuns listed Long’s height at 6-9 last season.
Pan Am Games tryout roster
Ron Baker, Wichita State
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Bobby Brown, Dongguan Leopards
Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma
Micah Downs, Avtodor Saratov
Kellen Dunham, Butler
Rico Gathers, Baylor
Isaac Haas, Purdue
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Malcolm Hill, Illinois
Ryan Hollins, Sacramento Kings
Keith Langford, UNICS Kazan
Shawn Long, UL-Lafayette
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Taurean Prince, Baylor
Anthony Randolph, Lokomotiv-Kuban
Joshua Scott, Colorado
Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
Romelo Trimble, Maryland
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State
Damien Wilkins, Indios de Mayaguez