2017 USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team Narrowed To 18 Finalists
Following four training sessions that featured 27 of the nation’s top 19-and-under male basketball players June 18-20 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 18 finalists for the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team were announced.
Named as finalists for the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team were: Bol Bol (Mater Dei H.S./Santa Ana, Calif.); Jordan Brown (Woodcreek H.S./Roseville, Calif.); Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky/Queens, NY); Carsen Edwards (Purdue/Atascocita, Texas); Kevin Huerter (Maryland/Clifton Park, N.Y.); Louis King (Hudson Catholic H.S./Columbus, N.J.); Kevin Knox II (Tampa Catholic H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Romeo Langford (New Albany H.S./New Albany, Ind.); Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic H.S/San Diego, Calif.); Chuma Okeke (Westlake H.S./Atlanta, Ga.); Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech/Snellville, Ga.); Payton Pritchard (Oregon/West Linn, Ore.); Immanuel Quickly (John Carroll School/Bel Air, Md.); Cameron Reddish (Westtown School/Norristown, Pa.); Mitchell Robinson (Chalmette H.S./New Orleans, La.); Quinton Rose (Temple/Rochester, N.Y.); PJ Washington (Findlay Prep/Las Vegas, Nev.); and Austin Wiley (Auburn/Hoover, Ala.).
University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari will lead the USA U19 World Cup Team with the assistance of Tad Boyle from the University of Colorado and Danny Manning from Wake Forest University.
“I felt really good until this morning,” said USA U19 mentor Calipari. “There was anxiety this morning for me because you know you’re going to disappoint some of these kids. What I hope is that the games they played here against really good players helped them. I also told them after, we only had four sessions to figure you guys out. This committee went through every name, talked about every kid, and came up with a list. I told these kids, we may be wrong, please prove us wrong, use this as fuel if you don’t make the team, and I’ll be watching everybody. But, I hope you prove us wrong. And for the guys that make it, now it’s on. Now the real stuff begins. I haven’t really coached yet, I’ve just kind of watched you.
“I think we’ve got a good group of finalists. We’re pretty long and athletic. It looks like we’re going to be somewhat positionless and we’re going to have some 6-8 guys that can play point guard, bring it up and make plays. We’re young, there is a group of six rising (high school) seniors that now, in this setting, it’s a little different. Now you’ve got some cagey veterans that have gone through a college season and played, some of them started for their teams or were significant players, and you’re a high school rising senior playing against that kid, now you see where you are as a player.
“I told some kids in our meeting (after naming the finalists) that if you want make this team you’re going to have rebound, and show us you’re going to rebound; if you’re going to make this you’re going to have pass the ball, you can’t be trying to shoot every ball. You’re responsible for you. I went around the room, not every guy, but I wanted to let them know I’m going to keep it real. I’m going to be real about what we have to do. The reason is we don’t have time, we have three practices and then we’ve got to make another cut and get it to 12,” added Calipari.
The selected finalists will remain in Colorado Springs and will train twice a day through June 25. The 12-member team is expected to be announced June 22.
As the 2013 and 2015 FIBA U19 World Champion, the United States will look for a third-consecutive gold medal at the July 1-9 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men in Cairo, Egypt.
Selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. Athletes eligible for this team must be 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998) and U.S. citizens.
Included among the 18 finalists are seven gold medalists from this past summer, and a total of nine athletes that boast USA Basketball experience. Returning from the gold medalist 2016 USA U18 National Team are Diallo, Huerter and Washington, while Brown, Knox, Quickley and Wiley return from the gold medal-winning 2016 USA U17 World Championship Team. Brown and Knox also collected gold medals as members of the 2015 USA U16 National Team.
Additionally, Knox helped the USA post a win in the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit, while Pritchard aided the USA to a win in the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit, and Pritchard and Washington were members of the 2015 USA Men’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Team.
Six athletes recently completed their freshman season in college and Okogie (ACC) and Rose (American) were named to their respective all-freshman teams. Diallo redshirted this past season for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Of the 11 high school athletes, five are rising college freshmen and six, Brown, Bol, Langford, King, Reddish and Quickley are rising high school seniors.
Named as Naismith All-Americans were: Jordan Brown (honorable mention), Knox (second team), Langford (third team), McCoy (honorable mention), Reddish (honorable mention) and Robinson (honorable mention), while the MaxPreps All-American Teams lists featured Brown (second team), Knox (second team), Langford (fourth team), Okeke (third team), Robinson (honorable mention) and Washington (third team).
Chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee is Purdue University head coach Matt Painter, who was an assistant coach for the gold medalist 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team and a member of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee from 2013-16. Members of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee include 2001 Goodwill Games gold medalist and 2006-08 USA National Team member Shane Battier as the athlete representative, and joining Painter as representatives of the NCAA are USA Basketball experienced coaches Tony Bennett from the University of Virginia, Providence College head coach Ed Cooley and University of Arizona head coach Sean Miller.
2017 FIBA U19 World Cup
FIBA conducted the draw on Feb. 11 in Cairo, Egypt, and announced the four preliminary round groupings. The United States was drawn into Group D for preliminary round games and will open against Iran on July 1, face Angola on July 2 and will cap preliminary round action versus Italy on July 4.
The United States earned its berth into the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup by virtue of claiming gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, while Iran earned FIBA Asia U18 gold, Angola won FIBA Africa U18 gold and Italy collected FIBA Europe U18 bronze.
Following the preliminary round, all 16 teams will be seeded according to group play results, and will advance to the July 5 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 7 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 8, and the gold and bronze medal games are slated for July 9.
Now titled the FIBA U19 World Cup and played every two years, the event originally was known as the FIBA Junior World Championship from 1979 through 2003 and as the FIBA U19 World Championship from 2005-2009, and it was played every four years from 1979 through 2007.
In the 12 previous U19 competitions held, the USA men’s teams have won six gold and three silver medals, including gold in three of the past four U19 championships (2009, 2013 and 2015). In 2015, led by Jalen Brunson, Terrance Ferguson, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson, the USA men finished 7-0 to capture gold. USA U19 teams own an all-time win-loss record of 85-13 in the competition.
Past USA U19 standouts include: Jalen Brunson (2015 MVP), Vince Carter (1995), Stephen Curry (2007), Terrance Ferguson (2015), Aaron Gordon (2013 MVP), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2011), Montrezl Harrell (2013), Gordon Hayward (2009), Doug McDermott (2011), Jahlil Okafor (2013), Gary Payton (1987), Sam Perkins (1979), J.J. Redick (2003), Marcus Smart (2013), Klay Thompson (2009), Scott Skiles (1983), Deron Williams (2003), Justise Winslow (2013) and James Worthy (1979).