Purdue’s Johnson To Reprise Role With USA Men’s Select Team

By: Contributor Last Updated: August 2, 2010

jajuan_johnson.pngPurdue rising senior forward/center JaJuan Johnson has accepted an invitation to once again represent his country this summer as a member of a USA Men’s Select Team that will train against the USA World Championship Team finalists in New York, USA Basketball announced Monday.

The 10-player team, to be coached by Villanova’s Jay Wright, will gather in New York on Aug. 9 and train against the USA World Championship Team finalists from Aug. 10-13. Practice sessions will be held at John Jay College on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Thursday’s site still to be determined and Friday’s workout slated for the New York Knicks’ practice facility in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Johnson was also a member of the 20-player Select Team that ventured to Las Vegas in July to aid in the USA Men’s National Team’s preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. He also participated in the 2009 USA Basketball Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“My experience with the original Select Team in Las Vegas was productive, and I’m looking forward to expanding on that in New York,” Johnson said. “Competing against some of the best players in the world forces you to take your game to another level, and I felt like I held my own. In addition to the level of play, just watching how the NBA players go about their workouts and conduct themselves on the court has been a great learning experience for me.”

The Indianapolis native is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and has also been named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in each of the last two seasons. He led the Boilermakers in rebounds and blocks as a junior with averages of 7.1 and 2.1 per contest, respectively, and ranked third on the team with a clip of 15.5 points per game.

One of just 20 Boilermakers with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career, Johnson will enter his final campaign ranked second on the program’s career blocks chart (184), 24th in rebounds (563) and 28th in scoring (1,221). He owns 14 double-doubles for his career after tallying nine such efforts as a junior.

“One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “It worked so well we’ve decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us, and it’s a great experience for them.”

Six collegiate conferences are represented on the Select Team roster for New York, with the Big Ten and ACC leading the way with three players each.

The USA Basketball World Championship finalists will be in New York City to resume training for the Aug. 28-Sept. 12 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, and to take part in the first-ever World Basketball Festival, a four-day celebration of the game’s performance and culture hosted by Nike and USA Basketball. The festival tips off on Aug. 12 in Radio City Music Hall and continues in legendary Rucker Park before concluding at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 15.

2010 USA Men’s Select Team – New York
JaJuan Johnson (Sr., F/C, Purdue)
Jon Leuer (Sr., C, Wisconsin)
Shelvin Mack (Jr., G, Butler)
Kyle Singler (Sr., F, Duke)
Chris Singleton (Jr., F, Florida State)
Nolan Smith (Sr., G, Duke)
Howard Thompkins (Jr., F, Georgia)
Mike Tisdale (Sr., C, Illinois)
Kemba Walker (Jr., G, Connecticut)
Chris Wright (Sr., F, Dayton)