Utah Jazz are hyping up Walker Kessler’s debut with Team USA

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Team USA will play its first tuneup game and Walker Kessler is a big name to watch.

The Utah Jazz are one of the few teams with five players in the FIBA World Cup, and one is getting ready to make his international debut on Monday, Aug. 8, 2023. While Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Clarkson, and Simone Fontecchio are also gearing up to play for their respective teams, none are playing for Team USA.

Markkanen is the star of Team Finland, while Olynyk will be a major player for Team Canada, while Clarkson and Fontecchio are going to be the leaders of Team Philippines and Team Italy respectively.

But none of them will be suiting up for Team USA when the squad takes on Puerto Rico in a warmup game for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. The only one who will be is Walker Kessler and the hype around his involvement is real.

The hype around Kessler in the international competition is real, and the Utah Jazz are already hyping up his potential impact on the team’s defense. With the Utah Jazz’s Twitter account dubbing him “America’s Sheriff”.


And while the hype is justified, he did have a great 2022-2023 rookie season after all, he still has a lot to prove. He has to showcase his ability to not only adapt to more agile big men, whom he’ll see a lot in the FIBA World Cup tournament, but he’ll also have to prove that his rim-running and put-back abilities are top-notch.

He’s not coming into the tournament as a finished product, he’s got to showcase what he can do against the world’s best players, and if he can do it on both ends of the court, not just on defense, then maybe Kessler can be seen as more than just a defensive player.

The World Cup is going to be a huge moment in the career of Kessler, as it’ll show us what he can do beyond what we already know. It’ll also show us how some of the best coaches in the world see Kessler, as his usage will be dependent on Steve Kerr and company.

The shoes are big and the lights are bright, but on Monday night, Kessler may just be able to prove to the world that he’s the next big thing.

Next. Ranking all 5 Utah Jazz players in the FIBA World Cup by importance. dark