18 Players Identified As Finalists For 2016 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team
Following four training sessions involving 36 hopefuls, 18 finalists were named today for the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team. The finalists include seven members of the gold medalist 2015 USA Men’s U16 National Team, which qualified the U.S. for the 2016 FIBA Men’s U17 World Championship. The finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Developmental National Team Committee, chaired by USA Basketball men’s national team director Sean Ford. Athletes eligible for this team must be 17 years old or younger (born on or after 1/1/99) and U.S. citizens.
The USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team training camp will continue through June 17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is anticipated that the final 12-member USA U17 team will be announced no later than June 17 and the selected team will represent the United States at the 2016 FIBA Men’s U17 World Championship, June 23-July 3 in Zaragoza, Spain.
Named as finalists were: Jordan Brown (Woodcreek H.S./Roseville, Calif.); Troy Brown (Centennial H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Wendell Carter Jr. (Pace Academy/Fairburn, Ga.); Daejon Davis (Garfield H.S./Seattle, Wash.); Nojel Eastern (Evanston Township H.S./Evanston, Ill.); Carte'Are Gordon (Webster Groves H.S./St. Louis, Mo.); Markus Howard (Findlay Prep, Nev./Chandler, Ariz.); Jaren Jackson Jr. (Park Tudor School/Carmel, Ind.); Kevin Knox II (Tampa Catholic H.S./Riverview, Fla.); Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll School/Havre De Grace, Md.); Cameron Reddish (Westtown School/Norristown, Pa.); D’Shawn Schwartz (Sand Creek H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.); Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook H.S./Mableton, Ga.); Javonte Smart (Scotlandville H.S./Baton Rouge, La.); Jalen Smith (Mount Saint Joseph H.S./Baltimore, Md.); Gary Trent Jr (Apple Valley H.S./Burnsville, Minn.); Austin Wiley (Spain Park H.S./Hoover, Ala.); and Robert Woodard II (Columbus H.S./Columbus, Miss.).
“What a competitive U17 training camp this has been! All 36 participants should be congratulated for their efforts and attitudes; this selection process was extremely difficult,” said Ford. “Coming into the training we expected that the strength of our team would be the athletic ability, length and the quantity of players capable of playing multiple positions, and that has been the case. Now comes another huge challenge, selecting the 12-player USA team.”
Seven-time USA Basketball gold medalist head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball), who in 2015 coached the USA U16 National Team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, will serve as head coach of the 2016 USA U17 World Championship Team. Also selected to remain on staff after assisting Showalter and the 2015 USA U16 team to a gold medal and a berth in the 2016 U17 World Championship is prep head coach Miles Simon (California Supreme AAU) and Mike Jones (DeMatha Catholic H.S., Md.), who has been a member of six previous USA Basketball team coaching staffs, including as an assistant for the gold medalist 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team.
The USA earned its qualifying spot for the 2016 U17 Worlds by capturing gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship with a 5-0 record. Led by tournament MVP Trent, finalists who won gold as a member of the 2016 USA U16 National Team also included Jordan Brown, Carter, Howard, Knox, Smart and Woodard.
Also boasting of USA Basketball experience is Gordon, who was named as a finalist for the 2015 U16 squad. Further, Troy Brown, Davis, Eastern, Reddish, Schwartz and Wiley have each participated in at least one previous USA Basketball Junior National Team training camp. Most recently, Schwartz was a member of the runner-up team at the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.
The U.S. will open FIBA U17 World Championship play on June 23 against Taiwan and will face Turkey on June 24. Following a day off, the USA will cap preliminary play against Egypt on June 26. After playing each of the teams in their preliminary round group, all teams advance to the round of 16 on June 28. Winners from the round of 16 advance to the medal round quarterfinals on June 30. The semifinals will be played on July 2, and the finals will be on July 3.
In addition to Ford, the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee includes high school representatives Herman Harried (Lake Clifton H.S., Md.) and John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S., Calif.); AAU representatives Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles, Mo.) and Boo Williams (Boo Williams, Va.); and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups, who won gold as a member of the 2010 USA World Championship Team, and Gerry McNamara, a gold medalist on the 2005 USA World University Games Team.
FIBA U17 World Championship for Men
First held in 2010, the FIBA U17 World Championship features the world’s top 17-year-old and younger players. FIBA currently holds U17 World Championships every two years. Under the direction of Showalter, the USA has earned the gold medal in all three editions, compiling a perfect 23-0 record overall.
In the inaugural (2010) FIBA U17 World Championship for Men, the USA captured gold with a perfect 8-0 record and Bradley Beal was tabbed MVP. In 2012, Jahlil Okafor earned MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by Justise Winslow as the U.S. again captured gold. Most recently the U.S. made it three-straight golds as Malik Newman earned tournament MVP honors and Diamond Stone listed on the all-tournament team.