Here's hoping young players emulate Team USA

Updated: July 23, 2008, 3:39 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla
LAS VEGAS -- I am in Las Vegas this week to cover Team USA's first exhibition game Friday night versus Canada (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the USA Basketball State Farm Challenge. And, while I am here, I will get a chance to see some of the country's best high school talent and the various tournaments being run simultaneously by Nike, Reebok and adidas.

It will be interesting to see the impact that guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and the rest of the Olympic team will have on grassroots basketball in America. They are making it cool again to represent the United States and in a first-class way. They understand what is at stake in terms of restoring the respect for the way we play the game, and they have embraced the pressure that will be with them right up to the gold-medal game in Beijing.