COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Former UConn guard Rodney Purvis is one of 14 players who have been invited to participate in the USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp, set for Feb. 15-20. The training camp will be used to select the 12-man team for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games, including games against Cuba (Feb. 23) and Puerto Rico (Feb. 26) in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Purvis, who played three seasons at UConn before graduating in 2017, is now a member of the Lakeland Magic, the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. The 6-4 guard has put together an outstanding season so far for Lakeland, averaging a team-leading 20.3 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and shooting 42.3 percent. He was named the G League Player of the Week on dec. 26 after a season-high 40-point game against the Westchester Knicks.
The USA World Cup Qualifying Team will be coached by former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, who led the USA to a 5-0 record and the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup and to a pair of wins in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying November window. Veteran international coach Mo McHone and former Princeton and Georgetown coach John Thompson III will serve as assistant coaches. Of the 14 [players invited to training camp, 13 are currently G League players.
The official 12-man team is expected to be announced following the Feb. 20 practice. The USA team will continue training in Santa Cruz on Feb. 21-25. The team will play games against Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26. The World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven from the Americas, seven from Asia, and 12 from Europe. China, as the host nation, automatically qualifies.
Purvis, from Raleigh, N.C., played three years at UConn, 2014-2017, after transferring from North Carolina State. He played 102 games for the Huskies, averaging 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. His 1,301 points scored ranks him 28th on the all-time UConn scoring list.
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