Monday, July 22, 2024

Derrick White joins USA Basketball ahead of Paris Olympics after Kawhi Leonard withdraws – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

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BOSTON (WHDH) – The Celtics will have another player going for gold at the Paris Olympics this summer after USA Basketball tabbed Derrick White to replace Kawhi Leonard Men’s National Team Wednesday. 

White will join Boston teammates Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday on the Team USA. 

In joining the team, White will also make his return to international competition after last playing on the 2019 USA Men’s National Team that finished in seventh place in that year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

USA Basketball announced Leonard’s departure from its roster in a statement late Wednesday morning. 

Officials said Leonard had been “ramping up for the Olympics and had a few strong practices.”

“He felt ready to compete,” USA Basketball said. “However, he respects that USA Basketball and the [LA] Clippers determined it’s in his best interest to spend the remainder of the summer preparing for the upcoming season rather than participating in the Olympic Games in Paris.” 

Just over an hour after the initial announcement, USA Basketball shared a new post on X welcoming White to the team.

White came to Boston via a trade in 2022. He averaged 15.2 points per game in the 2023-2024 regular season, with 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks. 

White then notched a career-best playoff performance as his team marched to its 18th championship, racking up 16.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.2 blocks in the 2024 postseason. 

The opening ceremonies for the 2024 Summer Olympics are scheduled for July 26. 

The US Men’s Basketball Team will play its first game on July 28 when it faces Serbia.

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