Six Prep Standouts Added To 2015-16 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team
-- Atlanta Celtics Coach Horace Neysmith Tabbed As U16 Training Camp Court Coach --
Six of the nation’s top young prep standouts, including Daejon Davis (Lakeside H.S./Seattle, Wash.); Jalen Hill (Corona Centennial H.S./Corona, Calif.); Tre Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Appel Valley, Minn.); Kevin Knox II (Tampa Catholic H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Jaedon LeDee (The Kinkaid School/Spring, Texas); and Alex Reese (Pelham H.S./Pelham, Ala) today were added to the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team. In addition to extending invitations to the athletes, the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee selected Atlanta Celtics (Ga.) coach Horace Neysmith to serve as a court coach during the May 28-June 6 training camp. Neysmith will assist the coaching staff and athletes in on-court drills and scrimmages.
Comprised of athletes age 16-and-under, the USA Junior National Team roster now lists 33 members.
“The guys we added since our last mini-camp, we feel have a legitimate chance of pushing the players we already have for a spot on the U16 team,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “They’re all versatile, which we like to see in international competition. There are some really good shooters in the group, and we’re always looking for good shooters. So, I feel really good about the guys that we invited as late additions. They’re going to have a real chance to make an impact on this team.
“The nice thing about Horace is that he’s been around basketball for a number of years. He brings a very good mind-set to USA Basketball. He’ll get along with the kids really well and work really hard for us. That’s what we’re looking for.”
“I am excited about being selected and hope to use my experiences as a player and coach to contribute as much as I can to USA Basketball and its players,” Neysmith said.
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 for 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.
A 15-year coach at the youth level, first with the Georgia Hurricanes and currently with the Atlantic Celtics, Neysmith has seen more than 70 of his former players advance to compete collegiately, some of whom have played professionally in the NBA and Europe, including K.J. McDaniels (Houston Rockets) and Jodie Meeks (Detroit Pistons). Further, another of his former athletes, MarShon Brooks played for three NBA teams and this past season competed for Emporio Armani Milano in Italy.
Neysmith is a 1985 graduate of the University of Massachusetts who earned 1985 All-Atlantic 10 Conference second team honors after averaging 14.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. A member of the UMass 80’s Team of the Decade, Neysmith also earned 1985 NABC All-District and was a member of the 1982 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.
Previously 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 H.S./ Roseville, Calif.); Marquis Brown (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, Ill.); Troy Brown Jr. (Centennial H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); 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 (Findlay Prep, Nev./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.); and Robert Woodard (Columbus H.S./Columbus, Miss.).
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 2015-16 USA Junior National Team now features 17 athletes who will graduate high school in 2018 and 16 who will graduate in 2017. They hail from 21 states, with California represented by four athletes; Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Washington are represented by two athletes apiece; while Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and boast of one each.
All but Davis, Hardy, Hill, Jones, Mathis, Nowell, O’Bannon, Reese, Trent and Wesson participated in the October 2014 USA Junior National Team 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 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 will open 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 advance to the July 13 semifinals, while 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 and the top four finishing teams will earn a berth to the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
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).