Kyle Fogg Grateful to Represent His Country on AmeriCup Qualifying Team
The former Arizona standout is the only non-G League player on the roster for games against Puerto Rico.
If you scan Twitter profiles, you find a wide range of information. Some are basic, others are funny. Some use that space to be philosophical.
Kyle Fogg — one of 12 players selected by USA Basketball to play in two AmeriCup Qualifying games against Puerto Rico — used his (@KFogg21) to pass along beliefs. One of which is, “It’s all about perspective.”
So, what does that mean?
“For me, it's extremely important,” said Fogg, a 6-foot-3 guard. “A big staple of my life, one of the top five values, is just having my perspective. And to me that means there's a lot of people who would be willing to trade places with you, don't forget how far you came, where you started. You look back and you ask yourself, ‘If I had told you that you would be here, where you are, would you be grateful for it or would you be upset and say, ‘Oh, no, I want more?’ Of course, you'd be grateful for where you are. So for me, just having the right perspective and being grateful for where you are and just continuing to do your best.”
Fogg has every reason to be grateful at the moment. Having just turned 30, Fogg is the oldest player on the U.S. roster as it begins the qualifying process for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games with contests against Puerto Rico on Feb. 20 in San Juan and Feb. 23 in Washington, D.C. He also is the only player not currently on a G League roster as he is in his third season playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, his first for the Beijing Royal Fighters.
His veteran status and international experience — Fogg has also played in Spain, Germany, Finland and Belgium — should help as the team has just five practices and a scrimmage before its first game against Puerto Rico.
“I'm super familiar with the game, and I can kind of relate to the guys how physical it's going to be and how hard they're going to be (playing),” Fogg said. “They're really going to want to beat us. We have a huge target on our back playing for Team USA. Also being able to let them know to not take the opportunity for granted, it's something that's an incredible opportunity that they've all earned. You definitely be grateful to be here and take full advantage of it.”
Fogg played one year in what is now the G League after being a four-year starter at the University of Arizona before heading overseas. While having various levels of success in his European stops, he has thrived in his three seasons in China. He averaged 35.6 and 34.4 points per game in two seasons with the Guangzhou Long-Lions before signing with Beijing this season and averaging 26.1 points. The CBA season is currently on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak that is ravaging the country.
His coach in Beijing is former NBA star Stephon Marbury, who played in the CBA from 2010-18, and for four USA Basketball teams, including winning bronze in the 2004 Olympic Games. The two actually squared off in Marbury’s final season.
“We went at it,” said Fogg, who left China around Jan. 20 as the CBA shut down for the Chinese New Year celebration. “I think he had 40 and I had 50 one game, and it was a super close game. ... He was a legend who opened the door for me out there and most of the other Americans.”
Fogg has had basketball success domestically as well. He played with Overseas Elite, which won The Basketball Tournament — a single-elimination bracket that began in 2014 — four times, the last three earning a $2 million prize (it was $1 million when Overseas Elite won for the first time in 2015). Fogg didn’t play last summer as he was in the wedding of Overseas Elite teammate Errick McCollum, the older brother of Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum.
“It was an incredible run and those guys are like family to me,” said Fogg, who twice was tournament MVP and went 25-0 during those four years. “Obviously, we won so much together. Definitely very fortunate to be able to win that many times in a row.”
Fogg enjoys the international travel, which he has shared with his family. And while the dream of playing in the NBA is unlikely to come to fruition, helping the U.S. win a couple games against Puerto Rico in the AmeriCup would be a nice chapter in his story.
“It's just (a chance) to represent my country and be able to go up there and check something off the bucket list that not many people have the opportunity to do so,” Fogg said. “It's just about trying to get these two wins and do the best I can and nothing more.”