Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. was voted the best player for Team USA at training camp by his peers

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Jaren Jackson Jr. Grizzlies pic

Team USA will compete in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup at the end of August. The tournament starts on August 25 and will end on September 10. Compared to rosters they’ve had in the past, Team USA is full of young talent. Their oldest player is 28 years old. Recently, the team voted on who the best player has been throughout training camp. In nearly a unanimous vote, Jaren Jackson Jr. was named the best player by his peers. 

For the past few days, Team USA has been holding its training camp on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Head coach Stever Kerr has been happy with how quickly the team has been able to build chemistry in a short period of time. Joe Vardon of The Athletic was able to speak with players and get some insight into why they may have voted for Jackson Jr.

The FIBA World Cup will be the 23-year-old’s first time playing for  Team USA professionally in an international setting. He was on the 2019 select team and played for the U17 at the 2016 FIBA World Championship.

Team USA voted Jaren Jackson Jr. as the best player at training camp, a huge honor for the young all-star

At the conclusion of Team USA’s training camp on Sunday, The Athletic did a straw poll. They asked each of the 12 players to vote on who they thought had stood out the most. Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart received some votes, but a majority of the roster voted for Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr.

Point guard Jalen Brunson said Jackson Jr.’s most impressive say was on Saturday. He loved the “energy” that the big man brought to every possession. His Knicks’ teammate Josh Hart also commented on the effort level that Jackson Jr. brings to their FIBA World Cup roster. Today, Team USA has its first exhibition game against Puerto Rico.

This past season in the NBA, Jaren Jackson Jr. won Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged a league-leading (3.0) blocks per game. The physicality level in FIBA is different than in the NBA. Players are more physical and Jackson Jr. said the defense gets “a lot of benefit of the doubt, for the most part”. In both of Team USA’s scrimmage games vs the select team, Jackson Jr. was a starter.