Former Kansas basketball phenom Joel Embiid selected to Team USA Olympics roster

Philadelphia 76ers v Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The United States men’s basketball roster for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, has been set and it includes a familiar face for Kansas basketball fans.

Former Jayhawk Joel Embiid, who played at KU during the 2013-14 season before being drafted No. 3 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, was one of 12 players selected to the team. The reigning 2023 NBA MVP joins some of basketball’s all-time greats, including LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant – causing some to compare it to the “Dream Team” of 1992.

It will be the first Olympics appearance for Embiid who chose to play for the United States over France (where he holds dual citizenship). His native country of Cameroon failed to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

Embiid has had a tumultuous season thanks to an injury suffered in late January. He missed nearly two months of action before returning on April 2.

Despite the missed time, Embiid has averaged an impressive 34.7 points and 11 rebounds per game and has the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference NBA Playoffs.

If Embiid can stay healthy, there’s a good chance he may start when Team USA takes the floor for the first time against Canada on July 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to open the USA Basketball Showcase.

The 2024 Paris Olympics take place July 26 through Aug. 11, where Embiid and his teammates will look to keep the USA gold-medal winning streak alive dating back to 2008.

If the United States do win gold, Embiid would be the first former Kansas men’s basketball player since Jo Jo White (1968 Mexico City Olympics) to become an Olympic gold medalist.