USA U16 Men To Face Dominican Republic, Mexico And Puerto Rico In FIBA Americas U16 Preliminary Play
The draw for the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men today was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the USA was drawn into Group B along with Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico for the June 14-16 preliminary round. On the opposite side of the draw in Group A are host Argentina, Canada, Paraguay and Venezuela.
The 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will be held June 14-18 in Formosa, Argentina, and the top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup for Men.
USA U16 teams have earned four-straight gold medals and a perfect 20-0 record since the biennial competition launched in 2009.
“The competitiveness, especially among the top teams, is really incredible,” 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 were down to Canada by 20 in the 2015 gold medal game, so we know we can’t take any team for granted. It’s interesting that we have all three teams from the Centrobasket in our group. Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico have very solid programs. In fact, either Dominican or Puerto Rico have made it to the semifinals in the past three U16s, so we’re not going to overlook any team. In the end, it doesn’t really matter who you have in your pool, you still have to win.”
Following preliminary round play, teams will be seeded, and the top two nations from each pool will advance to the June 17 medal semifinals and the finals will be contested June 18. All four medal semifinal teams will earn a berth into the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup for Men.
The USA Men’s U16 National Team training camp will be held June 1-10 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 24 athletes expected to vie for a spot on the 12-member team 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 (John 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./Concord, 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.).
Athletes eligible for this team must be 16 years old or younger (born on or after 1/1/2001) and U.S. citizens.
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.
Canada and the United States qualified to compete at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship 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.
The USA owns an all-time U16 record of 14-0 against teams competing in this year’s competition, including a 6-0 mark over Argentina, 3-0 versus Canada, 1-0 versus Dominican Republic, 1-0 over Mexico, 2-0 against Puerto Rico and 1-0 versus Venezuela. While the U.S. has claimed all four U16 gold medals, Argentina has earned three silvers and one bronze medal and Canada owns one silver and three bronze medals.
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).
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.