Lakers guard Austin Reaves, who entered the NBA undrafted in 2021, is now making his mark on the international stage as a member of Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.
In his debut appearance for the national team in an official game against New Zealand, the 25-year-old came off the bench to contribute 12 points and 6 assists, aiding in Team USA’s convincing 99-72 victory.
Reaves’ impact on the court was complemented by a heartwarming reception from the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I kinda seen it coming,” Reaves said when asked about the roaring reaction to him from the fans. “I was talking to Phil Handy and he was telling me they love the Lakers out here. So I kinda seen it coming.
“It’s special for me. I’m from a super small town, obviously. Not a lot of people expected me to be here, representing our country. So for them to accept me the way that they accepted me means a lot to me.”