The Washington Post

Bradley Beal is among 20 players invited to training camp as the U.S. team preps for the FIBA World Cup.

- BY CANDACE BUCKNER candace.buckner@washpost.com

After Bradley Beal completed his seventh season with the Washington Wizards, the best of his ascending career, he had the credential­s to be on the all-NBA team. Ultimately, the lack of team success torpedoed Beal’s chances, and he narrowly missed out on making the honor roll — and a potential windfall with a supermax contract extension.

But Beal’s play did not go overlooked, and he earned an invitation to another elite team.

On Monday, USA Basketball announced Beal was invited to participat­e in the men’s national team training camp in August. Beal will be among 20 NBA players, including superstars Anthony Davis, James Harden and Damian Lillard. The camp will decide the 12-man roster for the 2019 U.S. World Cup team.

Last summer, Beal declined an invitation to take part in a USA Basketball minicamp because the event coincided too closely with the birth of his son. The choice apparently did not hamper Beal’s future opportunit­ies. His ascension in the 2018-19 regular season to become one of the NBA’s premier guards also helped.

During his second consecutiv­e all-star season, Beal averaged career highs of 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach those numbers.

As Beal, who turns 26 later this month, took on a larger role in the absence of his injured backcourt mate, John Wall, he improved in other areas. Beal grew as a defender and compiled career-best statistics in steals (1.5 per game) and blocks (0.7). Also, Beal often played as the Wizards’ chief playmaker — his willingnes­s to share the ball was evident in a 101-100 win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 17, when he set up rookie Thomas Bryant for the winning basket.

More so than any other season, Beal, who played all 82 games for the second straight year, stamped his identity on the Wizards and carried the burden as locker room leader, team spokespers­on and community altruist. Beal is a finalist for the NBA Cares Community Assist award for his work with students from Ron Brown College Preparator­y High.

This summer, he has remained busy.

Beal has shown up to the team’s practice facility for shooting workouts with Wizards staffers. He has traveled to top AAU tournament­s to assist with his St. Louis-based team. He also took to Instagram to announce that he and partner Kamiah Adams are expecting a second child. Last year, Beal explained how the late July birth of his namesake, Bradley II, influenced his decision to sit out the U.S. minicamp in 2018. He would have joined Wall at the camp as the Wizards’ representa­tives.

“Initially, when I first got invited I was like, ‘Damn, my son will be born literally around the time of camp.’ I said I won’t be able to make it,” Beal said in October. “It was definitely a sacrifice. I definitely wish I could’ve been out there with the other guys, but nothing beats my son being born, for sure. Nothing.”

Parental obligation­s will not interrupt Beal’s invitation this year. He has Team USA experience dating from his amateur days. In 2009 and 2010, he won gold medals in the FIBA U16 Americas and FIBA world championsh­ip, respective­ly. Beal was named MVP of the 2010 tournament.

 ?? ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES ?? Washington’s Bradley Beal will be one of 20 players trying out for the 12-man U.S. roster.
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES Washington’s Bradley Beal will be one of 20 players trying out for the 12-man U.S. roster.

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