With a pair of teammates having had the opportunity to play for their respective countries in different summer tournaments, Sam Merrill is getting a chance to play on a national stage and learn from one of the best professional point guards.
The Utah State senior-to-be was invited over the weekend to participate in the CP3 Elite Guard Camp. Merrill is one of just 15 collegiate point guards chosen for the camp, which will be held July 18-21, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The CP3 Elite Guard Camp annually features the top 30 high school point guards from around the country and the top 15 collegiate point guards for an intense, three-day training camp with current NBA player Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets. Players are tutored by Paul on everything from skill development to film breakdown to life skills.
Notable alumnus of the camp include current NBA stars Stephen Curry, Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, Bradley Beal and Kemba Walker. The 2019 edition of the camp will mark the 10th year Paul has hosted the event.
Merrill will head east later this month for the camp. Meanwhile, fellow Aggies Neemias Queta (Portugal) and Sean Bairstow (Australia) have competed with national teams from their countries. Queta will be a sophomore this upcoming season, while Bairstow is a freshman.
Merrill is coming off an outstanding junior season. He was named the 2019 Mountain West Player of the Year and MW Tournament MVP. Merrill led the Aggies to a share of the regular season title and then the conference tournament title a season ago after pacing USU with a team-best 20.9 points per game.
The 6-foot-5 guard finished the 2018-19 campaign with 731 points, the fifth most in a single season in USU history, while his average of 20.9 points per game ranked second in the MW. Merrill was also the top distributor for the Aggies, totaling a team-best 147 assists and averaging 4.2 dimes per contest to rank fifth in the MW.
The Bountiful native was also named third-team All-American by Stadium, AP honorable mention All-American, first-team all-Mountain West, first-team all-District 17 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and all-District VIII by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Merrill will enter the 2019-20 season with 1,568 career points, which ranks 10th on the career scoring list. He could become just the fourth Aggie in the history of the program to eclipse 2,000 career points and needs 560 points to move into second on the career scoring list.