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Nets’ Harris and Allen join ‘Select’ few

Brooklyn sharpshooter and budding center to practice against Team USA

July 30, 2019 JT Torenli
Center Jarrett Allen and sharpshooter Joe Harris will represent the Brooklyn Nets as members of the USA Basketball Select Team next week in Las Vegas.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Just a few months after helping the Brooklyn Nets post their first winning record in half a decade, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen will try to aid the USA Men’s Basketball National Team in its quest for a World Cup title later this year in China.

Harris, one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, and Allen, coming off a strong second season as Brooklyn’s center, were chosen for the roster of the 13-man USA Basketball Select Team last week.

“The purpose of the Select Team is to help prepare our National Team for the World Cup and to offer an opportunity for some younger NBA standouts to be involved in the USA Basketball National Team program,” said USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo.

Harris, who led the league with a 47.4 percent average from long range this past season, also grabbed the coveted 3-point shootout title during last year’s NBA All-Star Weekend.

The five-year veteran started all 76 contests he participated in for Brooklyn in 2018-19, averaging career bests of 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Harris shot 50 percent from the field overall, boosting the Nets to a 42-40 mark and their first playoff appearance in four years.

Allen started 80 games during Brooklyn’s breakthrough campaign, which directly led to the free-agent signings of superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this summer.

The 6-foot-11 University of Texas alum averaged 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest.

His participation in the Aug. 5-9 Team USA training camp in Las Vegas will cap a very busy summer.

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Allen was also in Sin City for the Summer League schedule, where he earned first-team honors after leading Brooklyn with 16.4 points, 10.6 boards and 2.2 blocks as the Nets reached the tournament semifinals before bowing out.

The Select Team will train against Team USA for the first four days of camp before lacing their sneakers up a little tighter for an Aug. 9 exhibition contest at T-Mobile Arena.

Former Knicks head coach and basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy will serve as head coach for the Select Team, which also includes Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley and D’Aaron Fox, Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges, Atlanta’s John Collins, Milwaukee’s Pat Connoughton, Orlando’s Jonathan Issac, New York’s Mitchell Robinson, San Antonio’s Derrick White, Atlanta’s Trae Young and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Landry Shamet.

The National Team roster currently includes Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, and former Net Brook Lopez, among others.

San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, a five-time NBA champion, is coaching the National Team, which will be in China for the international championship tournament beginning Sept. 1 with a group stage contest against the Czech Republic.

“These players help extend the legacy of elite players who have been part of the USA Basketball Select teams,” added Colangelo.

“Not only will this group help prepare the United States for the FIBA World Cup, but it will also provide them with valuable experience at the USA Basketball National Team level.”

Going against the best players in the NBA should also help prepare Harris and Allen for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign, which will be one of great expectations for the Nets after years of being ranked at or near the bottom of the league.

Cyclones first baseman Gavin Garay homered for the first time this summer Sunday afternoon as Brooklyn stomped Vermont, 9-1, for its season high-tying fifth consecutive victory. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones
Cyclones first baseman Gavin Garay homered for the first time this summer Sunday afternoon as Brooklyn stomped Vermont, 9-1, for its season high-tying fifth consecutive victory. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones

Riding a season high-tying five-game winning streak, the Brooklyn Cyclones returned to Coney Island on Tuesday night, doubtlessly refreshed following a day off after stomping Vermont 9-1 Sunday afternoon behind first baseman Gavin Garay’s best performance of the summer.

Garay, a LaGrangeville, N.Y., native and the Mets’ 26th-round pick in 2017, finished 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as Brooklyn (25-16) improved to a season-high nine games above .500 and remained one game in front of second-place Hudson Valley and Aberdeen in the tightly packed McNamara Division race.

Red-hot Cyclones shortstop Wilmer Reyes also had three hits, including his fourth homer of the campaign, to boost his batting average to .336 while stretching his season-high hitting streak to eight games.

Brooklyn reliever Corey Gaconi (2-1) picked up the win with three scoreless innings of one-hit ball as the Baby Bums capped the three-game road sweep in which they outscored the Lake Monsters by an aggregate 16-1.

The ‘Clones, who are trying to reach the New York-Penn League playoffs for the first time since 2012, have won seven of their last 10 games overall.

They were slated to open a four-game series with Lowell at MCU Park Tuesday night at 6 p.m. with the opener of a doubleheader.

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