USA Men’s U18 National Team’s First Round Opponents Unveiled
The 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men draw was held today at the FIBA Americas regional office and the USA Men’s U18 National Team, in the hunt for a fifth-straight U18 gold medal, will compete in Group A against Dominican Republic, Panama and Puerto Rico in preliminary round play. Drawn into Group B were Argentina, host Canada, Chile and Ecuador.
The 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men will be held June 10-16 in St. Catharines, Canada, and the top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men.
“We have three outstanding teams in our side of the bracket,” said Bill Self, USA U18 National Team and University of Kansas head coach. “But, with any tournament like this, it doesn’t matter who you draw for the first round. If we want to win the USA’s fifth-straight gold medal, we’re going to have to play some very talented teams.”
Following the June 10-12 round-robin preliminary games, teams will be seeded within each group and all eight teams advance to the June 14 quarterfinal games. The semifinals will be played June 15 and the finals on June 16.
Training camp for the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team will be conducted from May 31 through June 2 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and finalists for the team are expected to be announced on June 2. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).
The team will continue training June 3-8 in Colorado Springs until departing for the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
USA men’s teams are 53-2 in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships and won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
The only other nations to stand atop the gold medal stand at the U18s were Puerto Rico in 2002 and Argentina in 2008. Puerto Rico also captured a bronze medal in 1994 and Argentina is a four-time silver medalist (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2006). Additionally, among the 2018 field of competitors, Canada owns a pair of silver medals (2014 and 2016) and three bronze medals (2008, 2010 and 2012); and the Dominican Republic took home the bronze medal in 2014.
Rounding out Self’s USA coaching staff are collegiate head coaches Anthony Grant (Dayton) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest).
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Earning automatic berths from North America were Canada and the United States; Argentina, Chile and Paraguay punched their tickets by finishing in the top three of the 2017 South American U17 Championship; and Dominican Republic, Panama and Puerto Rico earned the three berths available from the 2017 Centrobasket U17 Championship.
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament was held every four years between 1990-2006. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2006 championship, and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer, for nations that advance, by the FIBA U19 World Cup.
Some of the most notable USA U18 alumni include: Carmelo Anthony (2002), Chris Bosh (2002), Markelle Fultz (2016), Quade Green (2016), Grant Hill (1990), Allan Houston (1990), Andre Iguodala (2002), Kyrie Irving (2010), Stephon Marbury (1994), Michael Porter Jr. (2016), Austin Rivers (2010), Kyle Singler (2006), Marcus Smart (2012), Deron Williams (2002) and Justise Winslow (2014).