2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team Finalized
Following 10 extremely competitive training sessions, that began with 29 of the USA’s top 16-and-unders on May 28 and was pared to 17 finalists on May 30, the 12-member, 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team today was announced. Athlete selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee.
Named to the 2015 USA U16 National Team were: Jordan Brown (Woodcreek H.S./ Roseville, Calif.); Wendell Carter Jr. (Pace Academy/Fairburn, Ga.); Jalen Hill (Corona Centennial H.S./Corona, Calif.); Markus Howard (Findlay Prep, Nev./Chandler, Ariz.); Tre Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Appel Valley, Minn.); Kevin Knox II (Tampa Catholic H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Jaylen Nowell (Garfield H.S./Seattle, Wash.); 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.); and Robert Woodard (Columbus H.S./Columbus, Miss.).
Following a practice tonight at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the team will resume training twice daily at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs through Saturday morning before departing for Argentina and the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
“I really like what we’ve done so far and now we have it down to 12,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “We have a very versatile group at a lot of positions, guys who can play a lot of positions. I think this could be maybe the best defensive team we’ve had at the 16-and-under level, from a quickness standpoint, from being able to put ball pressure on, to rebounding. It’s going to be a really good group to work with.
“It was not an easy decision to make. Those five guys put a lot of their heart and soul into those practices and with anything, you hope they learn from it and come back next year as a better player.”
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 first was 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.
The USA was drawn into Group A and opens preliminary play against Puerto Rico on June 10, faces Dominican Republic on June 11 and caps the preliminary round with a June 12 clash against Brazil.
Group B features Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.
Following the round-robin preliminary games, teams will be seeded, and the top two teams from each group will advance to the July 13 semifinals. The third- and fourth-placed teams in each groups will play in the classification semifinals on July 13. The finals are scheduled to be played July 14.
Past USA U16 team members of note include: Brad Beal (2009); Quinn Cook (2009); Aaron Gordon (2011); James McAdoo (2009); Malik Newman (2013); Jahlil Okafor (2011); Jabari Parker (2011), Diamond Stone (2013) and Seventh Woods (2013).
Chaired by Sean Ford, the USA Basketball men’s national team director, the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team 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).