Trae Young, John Collins and Lloyd Pierce have been busy in early August, representing the Atlanta Hawks at Team USA camp in Las Vegas. While Young and Collins are technically part of the Select Team (on the scene to practice against the National Team), both have drawn positive reviews for their play on the floor.
Unfortunately, Young’s experience came to an end early as a result of what he describes as a “minor injury.”
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports that Young has a “minor eye infection” and, all things equal, this doesn’t appear to be a significant issue moving forward. In addition, the obligations of the Select Team don’t extend deep into August and the impact of Young’s early departure should be minimal.
Still, it is worth taking stock of how things went in the desert and Ben Golliver of the Washington Post shed a bit of light on Young’s present and future.
“Trae is a stud,” Celtics guard Kemba Walker shared with the Post. “You can tell how much work he puts into his game.”
From there, Pierce told Golliver that he expects Young to channel this experience into a leadership role in Atlanta.
“He’s going to need to be our leader,” Pierce said. “We need him to take this [Team USA] experience back to Atlanta. We need him to be vocal and accountable for our team’s success. It’s a lot to put on any young player, but he wants it.”
Young already operates as the offensive engine of the Hawks and with that comes inherent responsibility that arrived even during his rookie season. Still, it is another thing entirely to have the head coach describe the second-year guard as “our leader” and, from the sound of it, things went well for Young in Vegas.