15 Finalists Selected For 2014 USA Men’s U18 National Team
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Following four training sessions covering three days, 15 finalists for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team roster were announced on Thursday morning. The group of finalists included eight players boasting of prior USA Basketball experience, including three high school seniors who each have won two gold medals playing internationally for USA Basketball: 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).
Also named as finalists were: Antonio Blakeney (Oak Ridge H.S./Orlando, Fla.); Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic H.S./Union, N.J.); Jaylen Brown (Wheeler H.S./Alpharetta, Ga.); Jalen Brunson (Adlai E. Stevenson H.S./Lincolnshire, Ill.); Chase Jeter (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Luke Kennard (Franklin H.S./Franklin, Ohio); Tyler Lydon (New Hampton School/Elizaville, N.Y.); Dwayne Morgan (St. Francis Academy/Baltimore, Md.); Allonzo Trier (Montrose Christian/Seattle, Wash.); Myles Turner (Trinity H.S./Bedford, Texas); Thomas Welsh (Loyola H.S./Redondo Beach, Calif.); and Stephen Zimmerman(Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.).
A total of 24 of the country’s top 18-and-unders participated in the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp that was held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I thought the group all-together was really, really great. Now that we’ve narrowed it down to 15 guys, we’ll get a chance to practice with those guys. As I’ve said, it’s not necessarily about having the 12 best players but having the 12 best guys that will make up the best team. I think with these 15 players there are a lot of options to choose from. This group is very talented and really good,” said Billy Donovan, USA U18 National Team and University of Florida head coach, who led the 2012 U18 and 2013 U19 USA National Teams to gold and a combined 14-0 record.
“The first thing is the attitude and unselfishness because I think there are so many outstanding players there’s going to have to be a level of sacrifice by everybody; everybody is going to have to sacrifice something for the betterment of the team,” continued Donovan about what he was looking for during the early training sessions. “Then the next thing I look at is style of play. Because we have a limited amount of practice time and some of these teams have been practicing much longer, you’ve got to be able to play a style of play of being able to press and be disruptive defensively, and you try and find guys that are going to fit into that kind of system. That’s why sometimes it’s not necessarily the best players but the best players that fit into a system that can be unselfish and want to sacrifice.”
Assisting Donovan along the USA sideline are collegiate head coaches Ed Cooley of Providence College and Sean Miller of the University of Arizona.
The finalists will continue training June 12-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and selection of the official USA 12-member team will occur during that training period. USA Basketball will host the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the USOTC from June 20-24.
The 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, including: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Uruguay. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse University Hall of Famer head coach Jim Boeheim, made the selection of finalists. In addition to Boeheim, members of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee include NCAA appointees Bob McKillop (Davidson College), Matt Painter (Purdue University) and Lorenzo Romar (University of Washington); while the athlete representative is Curtis Sumpter, a member of the 2011 Pan American Games 2004 USA U20 National teams.
In all, eight of the 15 finalists have participated in at least one USA Basketball training camp.
Winslow won gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship; Johnson, Jones and Winslow teamed up to collect a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship; while Johnson and Jones earned a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Four players (Johnson, Jones, Turner, Winslow) were members of the 2014 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 84-73 in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit this past April. Jeter, Johnson, Jones and Turner participated in the 2013 USA Developmental National Team (DNT) mini-camp; Johnson, Jones, Morgan and Winslow were members of the 2011-12 USA DNT; Briscoe and Zimmerman took part in the 2012 DNT mini-camp; while Johnson and Jones first donned a USA Basketball jersey in the 2010 DNT mini-camp.
Six were their respective Gatorade Boys Basketball State Players of the Year, including Brunson (Illinois), Johnson (California), three-time Gatorade honoree Jones (Minnesota), Kennard (Ohio), Trier (Maryland) and two-time Gatorade award winner Winslow (Texas).
Nine athletes will graduate high school in 2015, and six are members of the Class of 2014. All six graduating in 2014 have signed a National Letter of Intent with some of the nation’s top collegiate basketball programs. Johnson will compete for University of Arizona; Jones and Winslow inked with Duke University; Morgan will play at UNLV; Turner will suit up for University of Texas; and Welsh will play for UCLA. Additionally, Kennard (Duke) and Lydon (Syracuse), members of the Class of 2015, have given a verbal commitment to play collegiately in 2015-16.
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament was held every four years between 1990-2006. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2006 championship and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA men’s teams are 43-2 in the U18/Junior World Championship Qualifiers and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2012, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
Some of the top players to have suited up for the USA in the U18 zone championship include: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002);Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Spencer Hawes (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990);Andre Iguodala (2002); Kyrie Irving (2010); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); Austin Rivers (2010); Kyle Singler (2006); Marcus Smart (2012); Jarnell Stokes (2012);Rasheed Sulaimon (2012); Kemba Walker (2008); and Deron Williams (2002).
Competing against the USA at the U18s have been notable internationals such as: Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) in 1994; Jose Barea (Puerto Rico) in 2002; Gregory Echenique (Venezuela) in 2008; Juan Fernandez(Argentina) in 2008; Todd MacCulloch (Canada) in 1994; Jamal Magloire (Canada) in 1994; Raul Neto (Brazil) in 2010; Peter Ramos (Puerto Rico) in 2002; Luis Scola (Argentina) in 1998; Tiago Splitter (Brazil) in 2002;Andrew Wiggins (Canada) in 2012; and Jesse Young (Canada) in 1998.
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, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
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; Nike Hoop Summit; 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.
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