Chasson Randle Eager for Latest Opportunity with USA Basketball
Veteran Guard has been Competing on U.S. Teams Since 2009
Chasson Randle has developed a lengthy USA Basketball resume over the last 12 years.
Yet, as far as he is concerned, every opportunity to represent his country on the hardwood has more special than the one before.
“There’s nothing like that first time,” Randle said proudly, thinking back to the FIBA Americas U16 Championship back in 2009. “FIBA at 16? There’s nothing like that feeling.”
“But then you win again at 17,” Randle continued, referencing his role in securing the FIBA U17 World Cup title for THE USA in 2010 – the inaugural year of the event. “The first ever World Championship. That feeling topped the first one.”
“But then winning in the last window,” Randle added with a smile, regarding his role on the U.S. 2018 World Cup Qualifying team. “It gets better every time. You’re constantly reminded of why you’re here and why you’re so thankful and grateful.”
As for a favorite memory with USA Basketball, Randle prefers to group them all together.
“They all hold a special place in my heart,” he said. “Not many people can say they’ve played for their national team – and won with their national team.”
Fortunately for Randle, now 28, another opportunity has presented itself. He is part of the November 2021 World Cup Qualifying Team that is currently preparing for games in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Nov. 28 (against Cuba) and Nov. 29 (versus Mexico).
As one of the elder statesmen on the team, Randle understands not only the strategy behind international basketball but also the mindset needed to succeed on the global stage.
“I try to lead by example,” Randle said. “I understand that some of these guys may not have played USA Basketball or overseas at all, so I just try to give advice when I feel like the time is right.”
Looking broadly at the roster, which is comprised mostly of guys from the NBA G-League, Randle likes what he sees.
“Camp has been great,” Randle said after a recent workout. “The intensity of our practices has been high, the caliber of play has been high, and we have a great group of guys here who are competing every single day, just trying to get better and learning the system coach (Jim) Boylen has put in place for us. Every day we’re just focused on working towards going down to Mexico and bringing back two wins.”
Obviously, five days of training camp is not much prep time for a random collection of players, many of whom have never played together before. Perhaps that is partly why USA Basketball opted for a coach like Jim Boylen who runs a system that can be picked up relatively quickly.
“Coach Boylen’s system is fairly simple to understand, so it’s easy for us to come together to play the right way,” Randle said. “I’m a fan of the style of play that we’re doing. I think we’re going to do some great things.”
Perhaps those great things could help land Randle – or one of his teammates – back in the NBA one day.
“This is a great opportunity for teams to see the guys here in a setting where the brand of basketball is played at a professional level,” said Randle. “After this window, guys will have opportunities to expand their careers.”
That, of course, includes the former Stanford University star who has played for five NBA teams (amid other stops, both domestically and internationally).
“USA Basketball has definitely helped me as a resume builder,” Randle said. “Anytime you get to play for your national team, people respect that.”
For now, though, Randle is currently a free agent seeking new opportunities to further his career. He most recently spent training camp with the Phoenix Suns before getting waived on Oct. 16. He has appeared in 119 career NBA games, in addition to playing professionally in the Czech Republic, Spain and China.
“I’ve been fighting for my career every single year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Randle said. “I’m living a dream that I’ve wanted since I was a kid. Right now, though, I’m just focused on this camp.”
As he prepares for his latest round of competition with USA Basketball, Randle still holds with him the memories and the lessons from that first go-round more than a dozen years ago.
“I learned the importance of team,” Randle said, reflecting on his 2009 experience. “That was big when I was 16 and 17. And togetherness. Every time you step on the court, you’re getting your opponent’s best shot. You’ve got to give it your all and play with pride, but also with humility. Those lessons I’ve always carried with me.
“I enjoyed that experience so much back when I was 16 that anytime they ask me to come and play, I’m always open to coming in if I’m available. Because the experience I had then is something I have always carried with me for my entire career, my entire life. It’s always a great experience when you get to put those three letters across your chest. It’s one of the best things in life.”