LAS VEGAS -- Sitting on the sidelines in the middle of a scrimmage at USA Basketball training camp Tuesday afternoon, Kings big man Marvin Bagley watched media members flood onto the baseline and set up shop. Scanning the crowd, the 20-year-old power forward searched for familiar faces among the sea of cameras and reporters.
And then he smiled.
The Kings are well-represented at the camp and so is the contingency of media members covering the team. As soon as the scrimmage ended, the 6-foot-11 big sauntered over to say hello.
This is the first national team appearance for Bagley since his freshman year of high school and he's excited. As a member of the Select Team training alongside FIBA World Cup hopefuls, it's a short commitment. But it's also one that the former Duke star hopes to build off of.
When asked if he would like to represent his country with Team USA in the future, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft lit up.
"I have confidence in my game and my ability," Bagley said Wednesday. "I just go out and play as hard as I can every possession, and one day it will happen. I believe in it and I think it will happen."
Sacramento-based media members weren't the only familiar folks for Bagley. Kings teammates Harrison Barnes and De'Aaron Fox are vying for spots on the traveling team that will venture to Australia ahead of the tournament and then China for the World Cup.
The Boston Celtics lead the way with four players in attendance, but Sacramento isn't far behind with three.
"We have a lot of talent in Sacramento and we added some more good pieces, solid pieces to our team that I think will help us get over that hump that we were stuck at last season," Bagley said. "It's going to be very scary for a lot of teams in the NBA next year. I'm excited to group up with these guys and get this chemistry going."
It's whirlwind experience for the young players who haven't gone through it before. You train with players from around the league for a week and then, in most cases, head home to prepare for training camp that starts at the end of September.
For a player like Bagley, it's a chance to get more exposure, play against different competition and learn from coaches like Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr. Bagley is a sponge, and he wants to glean as much information as possible from the experience.
"I'm just trying to take everything in that I can, continue to listen, pick up small things and just observe," Bagley said.
This is the first of what could be many stints with USA Basketball for Bagley. He's a top-tier talent, and his skill set fits perfectly into the modern international game.
Whether he ultimately makes it to the big stage is unknown, but he has taken the first step towards representing his country on a regular basis.