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Gregg Popovich hints at big things for Derrick White

Pop breaks character for a pleasant courtside interview at Team USA Practice.

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Popovich and the United States National Team kicked off training camp yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada. The inaugural practice was the beginning of a process that they hope culminates in a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Beijing next month.

The three-time NBA Coach of the Year served as an assistant for USA Basketball from 2002 to 2004, but this will be his first major international tournament since he was appointed head coach of USA Basketball in 2015.

Popovich isn’t always . . . accommodating when it comes to the media, so it came as a surprise when the long-time Spurs head coach wrapped his arm around a reporter to answer his question about Derrick White as they moseyed off the court.

San Antonio’s third-year guard was named to the USA Select Team late last month to help the Senior Team prepare for competition. While White was in the building, the Select Team was not available to the media.

Despite a closed practice, Spurs fans won’t have to wait long to see what White can do against his fellow compatriots. Team USA will host a nationally televised intra-squad scrimmage on NBA TV this Friday at 10 PM ET, and Derrick is sure to get his fair share of court time.

Although De’Aaron Fox and Joe Harris were reportedly promoted to the Senior Team, White remains a member of the Select Team. Regardless if the former Colorado Buff gets called up to represent his country this September, practicing against elite level talent can only help his growth, and that bodes well for the Silver and Black.