Twenty-Seven Of Nation’s Top 16-And-Unders Named To 2015-16 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado -- Twenty-seven of the nation’s top male basketball players age 16-and-under, 21 of whom participated in the October 2014 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team mini-camp, today were announced as members of the 2015-16 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team. The 2015 USA U16 National Team and 2016 USA U17 World Championship Team, should the U.S. qualify for the U17 Worlds, will be comprised of USA Junior National Team members. The USA Junior National Team roster will be fluid and athletes may be added over the next two years. The athlete selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee.
Named to the 2015-16 USA Junior National Team were: Marvin Bagley III (Corona del Sol H.S./Tempe, Ariz.); Michael Barber (The Veritas School/Jackson, Miss.); Jordan Brown (Woodcreek HS/ Roseville, CA) Troy Brown Jr. (Centennial H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Marquis Brown (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, Ill.); Wendell Carter Jr. (Pace Academy/Fairburn, Ga.); Nojel Eastern (Evanston Township/Evanston, Ill.); Darius Garland (Brentwood/Academy/Nashville, Tenn.); Carte’Are Gordon (St. John Vianney H.S./St. Louis, Mo.); Jaylen Hands (Mater Dei Catholic H.S./Chula Vista, Calif.); Elijah Hardy (Bishop O'Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.); Markus Howard (Perry H.S./Chandler, Ariz.); Brandon Johns (East Lansing H.S./ Lansing, Mich.); Montez Mathis (Mount Carmel/H.S./Baltimore, Md.); EJ Montgomery Jr. (Montverde Academy/Port St. Lucie, Fla.); Jaylen Nowell (Garfield H.S./Seattle, Wash.); Charles O'Bannon Jr. (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Cameron Reddish (The Haverford School/Norristown, Pa.); Nazreon Reid (Roselle Catholic H.S./Asbury Park, N.J.); David Sloan (Taylor County H.S./Campbellsville, Ky.); Ja’Vonte Smart (Scotlandville HS/Baton Rouge, La.); Gary Trent Jr. (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, Minn.); Jarred Vanderbilt (Victory Prep School/Houston, Texas); Connor Vanover (Arkansas Baptist H.S./Little Rock, Ark.); Kaleb Wesson (Westerville South H.S./Westerville, Ohio); Austin Wiley (Spain Park H.S./Hoover, Ala.); Robert Woodard (Columbus H.S./Columbus, Miss.).
“We had most of these guys out last October for our USA Junior National Team mini-camp and overall we’ve got a really good combination of good bigs who are very skilled, some good shooters and some very good point guards,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “So, we have a really good combination of players. This will be a good group to work with over the next couple of years, and I like our chances at the U16s with these guys.
“I know Argentina is going to be really good this year. Not only are they hosting, but I’ve heard from their staff that this is probably one of their best U16 groups that they’ve ever had. So it’s going to be a challenge from that standpoint. But I think size-wise and athletic-wise, we are probably as good as any group we’ve had over the past three U16s and I can’t wait until we get into camp to start working with them.”
Members of the 2015-16 USA Junior National Team will train May 28-June 6 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the final 12-player USA U16 National Team selection will be made prior to the team departing for Bahia Blanca, Argentina, for the FIBA Americas U16 Championship. Scheduled June 10-14, the U16 tournament serves as the Americas zone qualifier for the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship, with the top four finishing nations from the FIBA Americas U16 Championship advancing to the 2014 U17 Worlds.
The 2015-16 USA Junior National Team features 15 athletes who will graduate high school in 2018 and 12 who will graduate in 2017. They hail from 21 states, with California represented by three atheltes; Arizona, California, Illinois, Mississippi and Nevada are represented by two athletes apiece; and Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington boast of one each.
All but Hardy, Mathis, Nowell, O’Bannon, Trent and Wesson participated in the 2014 mini-camp.
Assisting Showalter and the 2015-16 USA Junior National Team are Miles Simon (California Supreme AAU) and Sharman White (Miller Grove H.S., Ga.).
Held every other year, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship was first contested in 2009, and under the direction of Showalter, the USA has earned the gold medal in all three editions, compiling a perfect 15-0 record overall. In addition to the USA, teams competing in the 2015 U16 zone championship include: host Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
The 2015-16 USA Junior National Team member selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee. Chaired by Sean Ford, the USA Basketball men’s national team director, the committee also includes AAU appointees Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles, Mo.) and Boo Williams (Boo Williams, Va.), NFHS appointees Herman Harried (Lake Clifton H.S., Md.) and John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S., Calif.), at-large representative Evan Daniels (Scout.com) 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).