Six Gold Medalists Headline 2017 USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team Roster
Six athletes with international experience, including three who helped the USA qualify for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, were among 12 of the nation’s top 19-and-under male basketball players named today to the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team.
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.
Named to the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team were: 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.); Romeo Langford (New Albany H.S./New Albany, Ind.); Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic H.S/San Diego, Calif.); 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.); P.J. Washington (Findlay Prep/Las Vegas, Nev.); and Austin Wiley (Auburn/Hoover, Ala.).
University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari is coaching the USA U19 World Cup Team with the assistance of Tad Boyle from the University of Colorado and Danny Manning from Wake Forest University.
“Every player on this team can play different positions and has different abilities,” said Calipari. “Whether they’re a point guard and a scorer or whether they’re wing and a point guard, or a wing and a power player. We only took two true bigs, which is kind of dangerous. But, we decided that if we had to, we could go small and go zone. We could do it offensively and if they didn’t have a real big guy, we’d just go, ‘P.J., you just guard the guy. We’re going to go pick-and-rolls, inside pick-and-rolls and slips and you’re going to go play like a three anyway.’
“This is a really hard process. But it wasn’t just me selecting these guys, USA Basketball is involved. This was done by committee, and it went back and forth. Everybody was giving opinions. We went to midnight and we still couldn’t make the final decision, we had to sleep on it.
“Having to select the first group (finalists) was really hard and we ended up keeping three or four more guys, because we weren’t ready to make a decision on those three or four. And then, we had couple of injuries, which ended up moving that number down. But, at the end of the day, there were three players for one spot and we had to choose one. We looked and said, ‘okay. Who, if they had to, could help us?’ And that’s who we went with.”
The USA Men’s U19 training camp began June 18 with 27 athletes, 18 finalists were named June 20 and the team was selected following seven training sessions, held at the United States Olympic Trai ning Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The team will remain in Colorado Springs and will train through June 25 before departing for 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 12-member team are five gold medalists from this past summer, and a total of six athletes that boast USA Basketball experience. Returning from the gold medalist 2016 USA U18 National Team are Diallo, Huerter and Washington; while Quickley and Wiley return from the gold medal-winning 2016 USA U17 World Championship Team.
Additionally, 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.
Five athletes recently completed their freshman season in college and Diallo redshirted this past season for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Of the six high school athletes, two are rising college freshmen and four, Langford, King, Reddish and Quickley are rising high school seniors.
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).