USA Learns First-Round Opponents For 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship For Men
FIBA (International Basketball Federation) on Thursday in Mies, Switzerland, conducted the draw to determine the four preliminary round pools for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men that is scheduled for June 27-July 5 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Defending U19 gold medalists, the USA, which earned its 2015 U19 berth by capturing the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, has been drawn into Group A with Croatia (FIBA Europe bronze medalist), Egypt (FIBA Africa gold medalist) and Iran (FIBA Asia silver medalist).
“The FIBA U19 World Championship for Men has always been an extremely competitive event,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. “The past seven U19 World Championships have seen six different countries win gold and I’m looking forward to watching some spirited basketball games in Greece. USA Basketball is also very exited to return to Greece as its basketball federation has hosted numerous well-organized events in the past and I anticipate the same for this summer’s U19s.”
Drawn into Group B for the June 27-29 preliminary round were Argentina (FIBA Americas fourth place), China (FIBA Asia gold medalist), Spain (FIBA Europe fourth place) and Turkey (FIBA Europe gold medalist); Group C includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), Italy (FIBA Europe fifth place) and Tunisia (FIBA Africa silver medalist); while Group D consists of Dominican Republic (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), host Greece (FIBA Europe fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).
First held in 1979 and known as the FIBA Junior World Championship through 2003, the U19 World Championship features the world’s top players who are 19-year-old or younger. Held every four years through 2007, FIBA now holds U19 World Championships every two years.
In the 11 U19 competitions held, USA men’s teams have won five gold and three silver medals, including gold in two of the past three U19 championships (2009 and 2013). In 2013 the USA men finished 9-0 to capture gold, and now own an all-time win-loss record of 78-13 in the competition.
After helping coach the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team to a dominating run through the FIBA Americas U18 Championship en route to a 5-0 record and the gold medal, University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan, who owns an unblemished 19-0 record as a USA Baskeball head coach, will lead the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team. Donovan will be assisted by college head coaches Ed Cooley from Providence College and Sean Miller from the University of Arizona.
In one of the more competitive tournaments on the USA Basketball calendar, the FIBA U19 World Championship has seen only one country repeat as champions after the U.S. captured back-to-back gold medals in 1979 and 1983. Since then, Yugoslavia (1987), Greece (1995), Spain (1999), Australia (2003), Serbia (2007) and Lithuania (2011) have won a single gold medal, with the USA also earning gold in 1991, 2009 and 2013.
Training camp for the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team will be held June 12-26, 2015, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Members of past USA U19 teams have included standouts such as: Stacey Augmon (1987); Vin Baker (1991); Vince Carter (1995); Nick Collison (1999); Stephen Curry (2007); Eric Floyd (1979); Aaron Gordon (MVP of the 2013 U19 World Championship); Tim Hardaway Jr. (2011); Montrezl Harrell (2013); Gordon Hayward (2009); Larry Johnson (1987); Jeremy Lamb (2011); Stephon Marbury (1995); Doug McDermott (2011); Jahlil Okafor (2013); Gary Payton (1987); Sam Perkins (1979); J.J. Redick (2003); Marcus Smart (2013); Klay Thompson (2009); Scott Skiles (1983); Deron Williams (2003); Justise Winslow (2013); and James Worthy (1979).