The group of finicky American teenaged basketball players spent a month in Germany. Amid a scene of unfamiliarity, two staples emerged during the summer of 2010, one no nutritionist would approve.
“For breakfast, lunch, and dinner we ate spaghetti,” Bradley Beal said without a hint of culinary regret. “We were kids. We were real picky with food. We literally had spaghetti every day and loaded it up with sugar. Carbo-load!”
The other, far more palatable constant involved a different kind of devouring. Beal and his USA Basketball teammates chewed up the competition during each of their eight games in the inaugural 17-and-under FIBA World Championship.
On the gold-medal winning roster, 11 of the 12 players eventually reached the NBA. Six heard their name called in the first round of the NBA Draft, including Andre Drummond and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Three would win college basketball titles. One became a two-time NBA champion.
Amid this burgeoning talent, one standout emerged from the pack, the one who now leads the way for the Washington Wizards.