Kyle Kuzma removed from USA roster with ankle injury

Kyle Kuzma
August 15, 2019; El Segundo, CA, USA; USA forward Kyle Kuzma (21) during practice at UCLA Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The USA Basketball roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup has been finalized after Kyle Kuzma was the last cut after suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of an exhibition game against Australia.

The 12-man roster has now been set and is highlighted by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell among others. Many top-names that were invited to participate in the games either declined or withdrew from the team, citing a focus on the upcoming NBA season.

Kuzma played a few good games for Team USA and put up some good looking shots. In the first exhibition game against Australia, Kuzma went 4-5 from the field with 12 points and two rebounds. Against Spain, Kuzma scored seven points, hauled in five rebounds and dished out three assists.

Kuzma now turns his attention to finding his role on the new look Lakers, who recently signed Dwight Howard to a non-guaranteed deal following a season-ending injury for DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers forward was disappointed he couldn’t participate with the team and represent his country, but is looking forward to the upcoming season.

Before work for Team USA started, Kuzma explained why he wanted to compete in the FIBA World Cup.

“I’m not going to take for granted the chance to represent my country,” he said. ” I worked hard for this moment. I wasn’t a top recruit or an All-American, so I earned this. … I’ve also heard from some players who say they come back from Team USA more confident and poised and have career years. Hopefully, I can do the same.”

We hope Kuzma can recover quickly from his injury and look forward to seeing him against the Clippers on opening night.

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