2014 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team Finalists Announced
Colorado Springs, Colorado
After tipping off training camp on July 24 with 32 athletes, the list of finalists for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team has been pared to 17 of the nation’s top 17-and-under basketball players. Headlined by the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship MVP Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.), the list of finalists includes 10 members of the 2013 USA U16 National Team that captured gold and seven international rookies who are all jockeying for a spot on the final 12-member team.
Finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee, chaired by USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford, and the official 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team will be named prior to Aug. 1.
In addition to Newman, finalists for the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team include: Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/ Edison, N.J.); Thomas Bryant (Huntington Prep, W.Va./Rochester, N.Y.); Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S./Rice Lake, Wis.); Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas); De’Aaron Fox (Cypress Lakes H.S./Katy, Texas); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.); Mustapha Heron (Sacred Heart H.S./West Haven, Conn.); Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep H.S./ Southfield, Mich.); V.J. King (St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S./Akron, Ohio); T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian H.S./Lakeside, Calif.); Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif.); Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.); Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.); and Derryck Thornton (Findlay Prep, Nev./Simi Valley, Calif.).
“It was really a difficult decision that the committee arrived at,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “I think it boiled down to a few things, like what do we feel is going to make the best team, who can play defense and who can hit shots. I think the 17 guys that we have right now can all fit that category. It’s going to be difficult to cut this group down to 12, but having a few more practices allows us to look at the players in different positions and how we’re going to use the kids as a team, see what happens when we put in a system. I think it’s really good that we keep 17 at this time. It allows us to put in a system and see how they function in a system.”
The 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men, hosted Aug. 8-16 by Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will feature 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments. Players eligible for this competition must be citizens of the country they represent and have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1997. Two-time defending U17 gold medalist, the USA has a perfect 16-0 record at the U17s. The U.S. qualified for this year’s U17s by virtue of its gold-medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The USA U17 finalists will train practice twice daily through Aug. 1, from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. (MDT) and again from 4:30-7 p.m. (MDT). Prior to traveling to Dubai on Aug. 6, the U.S. squad will spend Aug. 3-5 training in Doha, Qatar. Following a practice on Aug. 7, the USA U17 World Championship Team will open tournament play on Aug. 8 against Greece, followed by an Aug. 9 contest versus Angola and a final preliminary-round game against the Philippines on Aug. 11. The round of 16 will be contested Aug. 12, quarterfinals are slated for Aug. 14, semifinals on Aug. 15 and the finals will take place Aug. 16.
The athletes who won gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship are Bryant, Ferguson, Giles, Jackson, King, Newman, Rabb, Ramsey, Stone and Tatum.
Joining Showalter on the sideline as USA assistant coaches are Eric Flannery (St. Edward High School, Ohio) and L.J. Goolsby (KC Run GMC, Kan.).
In addition to UAE and the USA, qualified for the 2014 U17 FIBA World Championship are: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Serbia and Spain.
2010 was the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Men. The USA captured gold with a perfect 8-0 record and Brad Beal was tabbed MVP of the tournament of the biennial event. In 2012 Jahlil Okafor earned MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by Justise Winslow as the U.S. again rolled up a perfect 8-0 slate en route to gold.
Ford is joined on the USA Developmental National Team Committee by National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) appointees John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S., Calif.) and Herman Harried (Lake Clifton Campus H.S., Md.); Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) representatives Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) and Boo Williams (Boo Williams AAU, Va.); and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups, a 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medalist and a member of three USA Basketball teams, and Gerry McNamara, who played on the 2005 USA World University Games Team.
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.
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