Just before the start of training camp for the United States World University Games team, Louisville forward Luke Hancock’s father passed away after a bout with cancer. Some wondered whether or not Hancock would attend the camp but the rising senior flew to Colorado Springs and ended up being one of the 12 players selected to play in the games, which begin on July 7 in Kazan, Russia.
On Thursday, USA Basketball announced that Hancock has been selected by his peers to be the flag bearer for the United States delegation for the opening ceremonies on Saturday.
“I am very proud. I am not sure exactly what to expect, but I am looking forward to the opportunity,” Hancock said in the release. “I’m honored to lead the way for the U.S. I’m excited.”
Hancock will be the fourth basketball player to bear this responsibility for the United States in the World University Games, with Orlando Johnson (2011), Alexis Gray-Lawson (2009) and Randy Foye (2005) being the others.
The World University Games men’s team also includes players such as Creighton forward Doug McDermott, Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey. The team scrimmaged Russian club team UNICS on Thursday, winning 94-60 with Hancock (14 points) and McDermott (13) leading the way offensively.
The United States will play its first game on Sunday against the United Arab Emirates.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.