Men's U18 National Team Selected
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The 12-member 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team was announced Sunday morning and features seven players boasting of prior USA Basketball experience, including 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), who each have won two gold medals playing internationally for USA Basketball.
Also included on the official USA U18 roster are: 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.); 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); and Stephen Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.).
“I’m really excited about the team. As it is every year, it was a really hard selection process because only 12 guys can be on the team. We just tried not necessarily to take the 12 best players, we tried to take the guys that were going to make up the best team,” 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 medals and a combined 14-0 record. “We had the chance to look at this group for almost a week and all of them worked very, very hard. It’s never easy when you’ve got to get down to 12 guys because for as hard as everybody has worked you almost want everybody to be on the team, but it doesn’t work like that so it’s always a challenge.
“I think it always helps,” continued Donovan, speaking about his players who own prior international experience. “We’ve got guys on this team that have played in USA Basketball, some of these guys have won gold medals, some of these guys understand international play. I think that’s a positive because there are some guys on this team who haven’t gone through this before and it will be a new experience for them. I’m happy with these guys; they seem like a great group of kids; they’ve worked hard and I think they understand that they’re all going to have to sacrifice.”
Assisting Donovan along the USA sideline are collegiate head coaches Ed Cooley of Providence College andSean Miller of the University of Arizona.
The USA team will continue its training June 15-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. USA Basketball is hosting the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the USOTC from June 20-24.
“I think the big thing right now is to get with our team in terms of where we’re at mentally. This being my third year, I’ve kind of noticed once the team gets selected there is a tendency by the players to want to take a deep breath. They’re excited because they made the team and made that final cut, and they have a tendency to maybe loose sight of what we’re here to do and that’s to win a gold medal. So I think getting them to refocus on why we’re here. Right now for them since this process started it’s all been about making the team. Okay now that the team is selected, the guys on the team can’t just be happy to be here, they have to understand they have a responsibility, an obligation to themselves, to their teammates and to our country.”
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.
Seven of the 12 U.S. team members 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. 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).
Seven players will graduate high school in 2015, and five are members of the Class of 2014. All five 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; and Turner will suit up for University of Texas. 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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