18 Players Selected Finalists For 2016 USA Men’s U18 National Team
Narrowing the list of players from 26 to 18 following four training sessions, 18 finalists were named today for the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team. The finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Jim Boeheim (Syracuse).
The USA U18 National Team will compete in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship July 19-23 in Valdivia, Chile. Not only is a gold medal at stake, but the top four finishing teams will earn a qualifying berth in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship.
The USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp will continue through June 18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Following a break, the 18 finalists will resume training July 11-15 in Houston, and the final 12-member team will be announced prior to the team departing for Chile. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998).
Named as finalists were: Jarrett Allen (St. Stephen's Episcopal School/Round Rock, Texas); Mohamed Bamba (Westtown School/New York, N.Y.); James Banks (La Lumiere School, Ind./Decatur, Ga.); Miles Bridges (Huntington Prep, W.Va./Flint, Mich.); Matt Coleman (Oak Hill Academy/Norfolk, Va.); Hamidou Diallo (Putnam Science Academy/Corona, N.Y.); Markelle Fultz (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Upper Marlboro, Md.); Quade Green (Newmann-Goretti H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.); Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa Central H.S./Clifton Park, N.Y.); Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic H.S./Sacramento, Calif.); John Petty (J.O. Johnson H.S./Huntsville, Ala.); Michael Porter Jr. (Father Tolton Catholic H.S./Columbia, Mo.); Lonnie Walker (Reading H.S./Reading, Pa.); M.J. Walker (Jonesboro H.S./College Park, Ga.); Paul ‘P.J.’ Washington (Findlay Prep, Nev./Frisco, Texas); Kris Wilkes (North Central H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Cassius Winston (University of Detroit Jesuit H.S./Detroit, Mich.); and Trae Young (Norman North H.S./Norman, Okla.).
“This was a great group, one of the most competitive groups we’ve ever had for this age group,” said Boeheim. “This will be a really good team. They have a great coaching staff and this is a group of finalists that has size, it’s got quality point guards and shooting guards, it’s got very good depth. It’s a really well balanced group. I think it’s one of the most well balanced groups we’ve ever had at U18.
“It is the hardest thing to make cuts, even a few guys. There are no bad players here, they’re all good, and the next cut will really be hard. We’re very blessed in this country, we have great, great depth of players, quality players at all levels and that’s what separates U.S. basketball from other countries – just the depth that we have, no one else has that.”
The USA U18 National Team coaching staff is led by University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart. He is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Kevin Ollie from University of Connecticut and Mark Turgeon from University of Maryland.
The USA team, playing in Group B, will open the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 preliminary play on July 19 against Puerto Rico, followed by a July 20 contest against host Chile and a July 21 clash versus the U.S. Virgin Islands. Group A teams include Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Dominican Republic.
After playing each of the teams in its preliminary round group, the top two finishing teams from each group advance to the July 22 semifinals, while the bottom two teams from each group will play out for fifth-eighth places. On July 23, the semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game, and the semifinal losers will play in the bronze medal game.
In addition to Boeheim, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee includes Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt Painter (Purdue), Lorenzo Romar (Washington) and athlete representative Curtis Sumpter.
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament was held every four years between 1990-2006. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2006 championship and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA men's teams are 48-2 in the U18 / Junior World Championship Qualifiers and won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
Past USA U18 team members of note include: Carmelo Anthony (2002); Chris Bosh (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Kyrie Irving (2010); Stanley Johnson (2014); Stephon Marbury (1994); Austin Rivers (2010); Kyle Singler (2006); Marcus Smart (2012); Jarnell Stokes (2012); Rasheed Sulaimon (2012); Kemba Walker (2008); Deron Williams (2002); and Justise Winslow (2014).