USA Junior National Select Team Loaded With Talent, Gold-Medal Winners For 2014 Nike Hoop Summit
Jan. 20, 2014 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
Highlighted by six players who have won gold medals with USA Basketball teams in FIBA and/or FIBA Americas competitions, USA Basketball today announced the 10-member roster for the 2014 USA Junior National Select Team that will take on a World Select Team in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit on April 12 at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
The Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premier annual basketball game for high-school-age boys, and it features America's top seniors playing against a World Select Team comprised of elite, international players age 19 years old or younger.
The USA will be led at the 17th annual game by its most experienced roster yet as it looks to capture a win after losses in 2012 and 2013. Overall, the United States owns an 11-5 series advantage.
Headlined by Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.), a three-time gold medalist and MVP of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, the 2014 USA Junior National Select Team roster also includes two-time gold medal winners Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei H.S./Fullerton, Calif.), Tyus Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, Minn.) and Justise Winslow (St. John’s School/Houston, Texas); as well as Joel Berry II (Lake Highland Prep School/Apopka, Fla.) and Theo Pinson (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Greensboro, N.C.), who each own one international gold medal.
Rounding out the roster are Cliff Alexander (Curie Metropolitan H.S./Chicago, Ill.), who suited up for USA Basketball as a member of the 2013 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team; James Blackmon, Jr. (Marian H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.), who trained with USA Basketball as a member of the 2011-12 Developmental National Team; and Kelly Oubre (Findlay Prep, Nev./Fort Bend, Texas) and Myles Turner (Trinity H.S./Bedford, Texas), who each took part in the 2013 USA Basketball Developmental National Team mini-camp this past October.
Tickets for the 17th annual Nike Hoop Summit are on sale, with reserved courtside seats for $25 and $50 and general admission tickets $5 in advance and $10 on game day. Tickets are available through the Rose Quarter Ticket Office, by calling 877-789-ROSE (7673) or by visiting www.rosequarter.com.
Leading the USA will be heralded high school mentor Mike Jones (DeMatha Catholic H.S., Md.), who not only headed the 2013 USA Junior National Select Team and was an assistant coach for the 2012 USA Junior National Select Team, but who also was an assistant coach for the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team, the 2011 USA U16 National Team and the East Team in the 2004 Youth Development Festival.
“We all are excited about this opportunity,” Jones said. “USA Basketball has once again assembled the best of the best from around the country. More than half of this team has international experience, and the others bring an intensity and fire to our team. We want to represent USA Basketball and our country as well as we possibly can. This is a blessing, and we all want to take advantage of it.
“We also know that our opponents will be the best coaches and players from around the world,” Jones continued. “We must meet the challenge of a team that will be well prepared and one that is full of talented and experienced players. Recent history adds to the game's interest and ensures that the USA will be focused and will play with heart and effort to make USA Basketball and America proud.”
As he was in 2013, Jones will be assisted by former NBA player and University of Virginia star Cory Alexander (Boo Williams AAU, Va.), who played on three USA Basketball teams. Alexander earned gold with the USA at the 1993 FIBA U21 World Championship, silver at the 1992 FIBA Americas U20 Championship and bronze with the South Team at the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival.
Okafor collected his third gold medal this past summer at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, and Winslow joined him on that team as the USA rolled up a 9-0 record. Okafor averaged 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and was selected to the five-member All-FIBA U19 World Championship Team.
Okafor and Winslow also were USA teammates in 2012, and were joined by Berry, Johnson and Jones on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.
In 2011, Johnson, Jones, Okafor and Pinson were members of the USA team that won gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Alexander is the only player with international 3x3 experience, and his 3x3 team placed ninth with USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship and first with a 7-0 record at the 2013 FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship. Alexander and his teammates earned the right to represent the USA by winning the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship.
While Blackmon, Oubre and Turner will play on their first USA Basketball national team, they all have participated in at least one USA Basketball training camp.
Nine of the 10 players have signed a National Letter of Intent for the 2014-15 NCAA season. Jones, Okafor and Winslow will play at Duke; Alexander and Oubre signed with Kansas; Berry and Pinson will head to North Carolina; Blackmon signed with Indiana; and Johnson will play at Arizona. Turner remains undecided.
All 10 players rank among the top 33 boys basketball players in the Class of 2014. While five are ranked among the top nine across three different scouting sites, Okafor is the No. 1 player on all three lists.
ESPNU ranks Turner second, Alexander third, Jones fourth, Oubre 10th, Pinson 13th, Winslow 14th, Berry 15th and Blackmon 19th. Scout.com has Turner second, Jones fourth, Alexander fifth, Oubre sixth, Johnson seventh, Winslow 10th, Berry 21st, Pinson 27th and Blackmon 33rd. Finally, Rivals.com ranks Johnson third, Alexander fourth, Jones fifth, Turner sixth, Winslow ninth, Oubre 12th, Pinson 19th, Blackmon 23rd and Berry 25th.
Six players listed on the Naismith Boy’s High School Player of the Year Early Season Watch List that was released on Dec. 16, 2013, including Alexander, Johnson, Jones, Okafor, Oubre and Turner.
In the most recent USA Today Super 25 rankings (as of Jan. 14), Johnson had helped Mater Dei to a No. 2 national ranking, Alexander and his Curie Metropolitan team listed seventh and Oubre had helped Findlay Prep to a 17th place ranking. Also earning mentions were Okafor and Whitney Young at 33rd and Jones and Apple Valley at 35th.
Despite their underclassman status, three players were Gatorade State Players of the Year following the 2012-13 high school basketball season, including Berry (Florida), Jones (Minnesota) and Winslow (Texas).
The 2013-16 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team Committee selected the 2014 USA Junior National Select Team roster. Chaired by Sean Ford, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director, the committee also includes AAU appointees Rich Gray and Boo Williams; National Federation of High Schools representatives Herman Harried and John Olive; and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups (2010 FIBA World Championship gold medalist and a member of three USA Basketball Teams) and Gerry McNamara (2005 World University Games Team).
The 2014 World Select Team, which is expected to be announced in March, will consist of 10 to 11 players age 19 years old or younger from FIBA's five geographic zones: FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, FIBA Asia, FIBA Europe and FIBA Oceania, with the approved sanctioning of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the world governing body of international basketball.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men's and women's teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's and women's FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women's U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world-ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at http://www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on https://www.facebook.com/usabasketball, https://twitter.com/usabasketball, http://www.plus.google.com/+usabasketball and http://www.youtube.com/usab.