Austin Reaves has come a long way since his upbringing on a farm in Arkansas.
He has become a household name in the NBA and has skyrocketed into the Team USA lineup for the upcoming FIBA World Cup after a breakout year with the Lakers.
The team’s most recent warmup games were played at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena and Reaves’ popularity among the fans was noticeable but it still comes as a shock to the young man.
“It honestly hasn’t set in really yet,” Reaves said of his fame via The Athletic. “I’m a very low-maintenance person. I like to hang out with my family, golf a lot. But to be in a different country and, you know, I was with my family and I was walking through the hotel and someone was screaming, ‘Austin, hey, can I take a picture?’ For that to happen over here, it’s special to me. I never take any of that for granted.”
The shooting guard played into the idea of being a recruiter among his USA teammates for the purple and gold.
“I can’t speak on that,” Reaves said, laughing. “But I like some of the guys we’re playing with. So … yeah.”
If Reaves was to succeed with some Team USA recruiting, he would be following in the footsteps of LeBron.
Of course, James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up for the 2008 Olympics, which was where the first seeds of forming a superteam were sown.
Two years later, the trio formed a formidable Big Three for the Miami Heat.
It is clear Reaves has big love for LeBron and he opened up about how much of a help King James is to the budding star.
“The one thing I’ll say is like how human he actually is,” Reaves says of James via Olympics.com. “Like how personable he is. You can talk to him about anything. He’ll, you know, take out a time of his day to explain stuff to you, teach you.
“He’s been in the league, I think, just 21 years now. He’s always been a professional. You don’t see things bad about him in the media. He takes care of his business. He does the right things and gives back to the community. So, you know, just to be around him and kind of, you know, figure out things from him that I could do to, you know, live that lifestyle kind of and, you know, be a good person and, you know, like give back and all that. Like there’s not anyone better to learn from.”