Ex-Piston Langston Galloway ready to play for Team USA

Langston Galloway. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Langston Galloway. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Former Detroit Pistons player Langston Galloway is not currently in the NBA, which, in a way, is a good thing, as he can achieve one of his dreams, and play for Team USA.

Last year, at the Olympics in Japan, it was the likes of Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum and Jerami Grant representing the United States. This year, Langston Galloway will be among those counted on to play for Team USA, this time in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

The United States faces Puerto Rico on Thursday and Mexico on Sunday at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. as part of their Group D schedule.

Galloway was a productive player for the the Pistons in the three seasons he was there.

Was he a star? No, but the 6-foot-1 guard could handle the ball and was a fine outside shooter – making 36.8 percent of his three-point attempts. He averaged 10.3 points a game his final season in 2020.

If the Pistons were making a move for playoff contention, Galloway might have been re-signed. However, new general manager Troy Weaver was brought in, and the then 29-year-old did not fit the impending youth movement.

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Galloway was with Phoenix as they made their run to the NBA finals last season.

However, all Galloway could get this season were 10-day contracts with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. When his contract expired with the Bucks on January 17, he was without an NBA team.

Galloway joined the College Park Skyhawks of the G-League, but USA Basketball had bigger plans for him.

The next big international basketball competition is the FIBA World Cup, to be held in the Far East in August, 2023. But the qualifiers for it are held during the NBA season, so those players are unavailable. When an experienced player like Galloway suddenly became available, he was offered a spot on Team USA and officially joined the team on February 15.

Also on the team is NBA veteran Joe Johnson, who was in Pistons training camp a few years ago (and almost took Christian Wood’s roster spot). Former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen will coach the team.

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While the 30-year-old Galloway would obviously prefer being in the NBA, he admits playing for a national team is something he never even thought possible.

"““This is a dream come true,” Galloway said to USA Basketball/ Red Line News. “It’s something you can’t really fathom as a kid, growing up watching the Dream Team back in the day. Going out there with USA on your chest and your surname on your back is everything. I’m going to compete my tail off and give it my all to try and help us win.”"

The USA roster features 11 out of 12 players with NBA experience. As was shown when NBA teams were ravaged by COVID-19 in December/January, and had to use emergency players just to have enough for a game, there are a lot of good players out there just looking for a chance, who can play at the NBA level.

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So when you see the big NBA names return to action in the World Cup next year, remember that a former Piston helped make it possible for them to be there.