25 July, 2021
07 August
8 Joshua Magette (USA)
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Don't forget about the other guys: ''Their only reward was seeing us win gold''

TOKYO (Japan) - While Kevin Durant was enjoying the cheers of the world, while Jayson Tatum was knocking down stunning shots, while the USA were coming up with big stops, three guys could just smile from afar.

Those three guys were John Jenkins, Cam Reynolds and Josh Magette. All three were part of the USA Men's Select Team, right there during the training camp in Las Vegas, USA to help Gregg Popovich's squad reach the right level when it mattered most at these Olympic Games.

The summer was a tough one for Team USA. Coach Popovich mentioned it numerous times, his guys went through the adversity of trying to come together while the NBA season was still not over. And, to make matters worse, injuries were there to happen, leaving the squad in a shaky condition once they were set to fly off to Tokyo.

During the Media Day before the event, the USA showed up with a total of eight players. Zach LaVine was still not cleared from the health and safety protocol, while Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker were then playing in the NBA Finals and would fly in only on the eve of the tournament in Japan.

The math is simple. Eight players were not enough to even have a regular basketball 5v5 practice. You hear players mention the word "sacrifice" a lot. But what the men from the top offices of the USA Basketball had to do to get the team to where they wanted to be took even more than sacrifice, because the three players from the USA Select Team knew they were always going to be in the background.

They didn't care, though. They were ready to join the team in the exhibition games before the Olympic Games. They even made the trip to Japan to help the squad play 5v5 in practices until the NBA Finalists arrived.

Draymond Green doesn't want you to forget about them.

"We had three guys, John Jenkins, Cam Reynolds and Josh (Magette) who gave up their time with no reward in the end, except to see this team win the gold medal," Green said after winning the Final against France in the Saitama Super Arena.

He went on: "Those guys are special. We had nine guys, we lost Bradley Beal, Kevin Love - we started losing guys, and those guys were here. Doing everything we needed to win a gold medal. It's a very special group, it's not just the twelve guys you saw win the gold medal."

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A post shared by Josh Magette (@joshmagette)

Josh Magette is a 31-year-old point guard born in Birmingham, Alabama. He played his college basketball in Alabama-Huntsville, and his professional career took him to the Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Turkey and the NBA G-League, with a total of 26 NBA games for the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic. During the Olympics, he signed a contract with the Tasmania JackJumpers in Australia, so he'll get his first taste of the NBL in the 2021-22 season.

John Jenkins is a 30-year-old shooting guard born in Hendersonville, Tennessee. After putting up 19.9 points per game in his junior year at Vanderbilt, he was selected as the 23rd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, spending three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, and also playing for the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and New York Knicks, for a total of 171 NBA games in his career. His overseas career saw him play in Spain and Israel.

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A post shared by Cam Reynolds (@camocinco)

Cameron Reynolds is a 26-year-old forward from Pearland, Texas. He was selected the Most Improved Player of the AAC in his junior year at Tulane and went on to play 24 NBA games for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. He also spent parts of three seasons in the NBA G-League, and signed his first European contract with Trento in Italy in early July.

All three of them were part of different USA teams through the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers and the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers.

Green and the USA team noted how all three of them deserve to be mentioned when you remember the path of the Tokyo 2020 gold medal-winning team. They aren't exactly Durants, Tatums or Lillards, but without them, this journey would've been next to impossible through all the injuries and other setbacks for Team USA.