Twenty-Four Top 16-and-Unders To Attend 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team Training Camp
Twenty-four of the nation’s top young male basketball players, 23 of whom participated in the 2016 USA Junior National Team’s October minicamp, have accepted invitations to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team training camp, which will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men. The 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will be held June 14-18 in Argentina (city TBD), and the top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup for Men.
The 24 athletes expected to attend training camp, set to tip-off June 1 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, are: Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Seton Hall Prep School/Short Hills, N.J.); Posh Alexander (Our Saviour Lutheran School/Brooklyn, N.Y.); Dudley Blackwell (Westminster Academy/Miramar, Fla.); Gregory Brown III (Vandegrift H.S./Austin, Texas); Vernon Carey Jr. (University School/Southwest Ranches, Fla.); Jy'are Davis (Sanford School/Newark, Del.); Zachary Dieterich-Harvey (Hayden H.S./Topeka, Kan.); Eric Dixon (Abington H.S./Willow Grove, Pa.); Xavier Foster (Oskaloosa H.S./Oskaloosa, Iowa); Juwan Gary (Gray Collegiate Academy/Columbia, S.C.); Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial H.S./Fresno, Calif.); Lynn Greer III (Roman Catholic H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.); R.J. Hampton (Little Elm H.S./Little Elm, Texas); De'Vion Harmon (Denton Guyer H.S./Corinth, Texas); Jaime Jaquez Jr. (Adolfo Camarillo H.S./Camarillo, Calif.); Justin Lewis (Calvert Hall H.S./Baltimore, Md.); Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill H.S./Charlotte, N.C.); Isaac Okoro (McEachern H.S./Powder Springs, Ga.); Micah Peavy (DeKaney H.S./Houston, Texas); Jaden Springer (Rocky River H.S./Charlotte, N.C.); Isaiah Stewart (McQuaid Jesuit H.S./Rochester, N.Y.); Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy H.S./St. Paul, Minn.); Isaiah Todd (John Marshall H.S./Richmond, Va.); and James Wiseman (The Ensworth School/Nashville, Tenn.).
“It’s a good group, as far as having a lot of versatility with guys who can play a lot of different positions,” said USA U16 National Team head coach Don Showalter, who has coached USA U16/U17 national teams to eight-straight gold medals since 2009. “We have a good backcourt with guys who can play point guard, off guard, wing. Then we have a good frontcourt, where they can kind of intermix with post players, back-to-the-basket types of players, and then face the basket. That helps. We need that for international competition. And we have a good crew overall, as far as our defensive philosophy is concerned. We’re going to be able to pressure the ball and play good defense. So, those are the two things that we’re looking for in this group.”
Invitations to the training camp were issued by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee. Athletes eligible for this team must be 16 years old or younger (born on or after 1/1/2001) and U.S. citizens.
All but Suggs participated in the 2016 USA Junior National Team minicamp, which was used as an introductory camp to USA Basketball for this age group.
Sixteen states are represented on the roster, led by four from Texas; two apiece from California, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania; while Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia are represented by one athlete apiece.
Listed on the training camp roster are 10 athletes scheduled to graduate high school in 2019 and 14 who are in the high school class of 2020.
The shortest athlete is Alexander at 5-foot-11, while Carey, Todd and Wiseman, who each stand at 6-foot-10, list as the tallest.
Showalter will be assisted on the sideline by Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.), both of whom tackle their first USA Basketball coaching assignments this summer.
The 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Qualified to compete at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship are Canada and the United States as the North American entries; while Puerto Rico (gold medalist), Dominican Republic (silver medalist) and Mexico (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2016 Centrobasket U15 Championship; and Argentina (gold medalist), Paraguay (silver medalist) and Venezuela (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2016 South American U15 Championship.
USA Basketball has claimed the gold medal in all four editions of the biennial event, which was first held in 2009. Under the direction of Showalter, the USA is now 20-0 in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action.
As of March 1, 2017, 13 of the 48 former USA U16 National Team members were under contract in the NBA, four were competing professionally in international leagues, 20 were competing in the NCAA and 11 were still in high school.USA U16 team members of note include: Bradley Beal (2009), Quinn Cook (2009), Aaron Gordon (2011), Markus Howard (2015), James Michael McAdoo (2009), Malik Newman (2013), Jahlil Okafor (2011), Jabari Parker (2011), Diamond Stone (2013); Gary Trent Jr. (2015), Jarred Vanderbilt (2015) and Seventh Woods (2013).