LEXINGTON — Darius Miller is glad to have an opportunity to possibly help USA Basketball win another gold medal.
He’s been invited to try out for the USA men’s university team later this month in hopes of landing a roster spot like he did two years ago when he helped his team win a gold medal.
“I’m honored to be invited to it again,” the Kentucky senior said. “It was a great experience last time. I’m going to try and do my best and make the team again.
“It means a lot to me to be able to play for something of that importance. Just to be asked to try out means a lot and I want to take advantage of the opportunity I¿have. It is more motivation.¿I am trying to put in more work because of that.”
With the tryout being in late summer, it gives Miller plenty of time in Lexington to bond with new teammates Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow before he heads off the for the tryout.
“It’s definitely nice. We’re having a good time so far. Everyone is doing their part in working hard individually and trying to get better. I think it’s benefiting me to get stay here for this time,” Miller said.
“I think it pushes everybody with us playing against each other. Everybody is really talented and really competitive, so that helps us all out. We haven’t had a chance to play a whole lot. From what I¿have seen, everybody is real competitive ... as always. They are great teammates just like last year and the year before that. I feel like we will have a good team and be able to compete.”
Miller knows he’ll face great competition during tryouts with Team USA and in the international competition if he makes the team.
“It did a lot for my game before. Confidence-wise, getting a lot more experience playing against great competition. It really helped me to grow as a player and I hope it will do the same thing again,” Miller said. “I want to play against great competition, make the team and hopefully win another gold medal.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari has made it clear he expects Miller, whom former Wildcat Josh Harrellson called the “team leader” of last year’s Final Four team, to be an even better leader this season.
“I feel comfortable with it. I can’t wait to get the season started. I’m just going to do the best I can to get better over the summer,” Miller said. “He has talked to be about it. I knew that before he talked to me and I just have to do my best to become better over the offseason.
“I just have to continue to work on being a leader and step up in every aspect on and off the court. I feel comfortable with it and just have to do it. I don’t think anyone really has a role yet. I have to do my part in leading the team and getting these guys ready for what they will go through.”