Eighteen Finalists Remain for 2018 USA Men’s U18 National Team
The 2018 USA Men’s U18 National Team training camp tipped-off May 30 with 33 athletes, and after five training sessions the roster was reduced Sunday morning to 18 finalists. The remaining athletes will continue training twice a day at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the final, 12-member team will be announced prior to the team’s June 7 departure for St. Catharines, Canada, and the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Selections were made by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.
The 18 finalists are: Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Briarwood, N.Y.); Armando Bacot (Trinity Episcopal School/Richmond, Va.); Keion Brooks (North Side H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); DJ Carton (Bettendorf H.S./Bettendorf, Iowa); Hunter Dickinson (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Hyattsville, Md.); Ayo Dosunmu (Morgan Park H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Quentin Grimes (College Park H.S./The Woodlands, Texas); Kamaka Hepa (Jefferson H.S./Barrow, Alaska); Matthew Hurt (John Marshall H.S./Rochester, Minn.); Trayce Jackson-Davis (Center Grove H.S./Greenwood, Ind.); Josiah James (Porter-Gaud School/Charleston, S.C.); Jalen Leque (Christ School/Teaneck, N.J.); Tyrese Maxey (South Garland H.S./Dallas, Texas); Justin Moore (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Hyattsville, Md.); Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Bishop Miege H.S./Shawnee Mission, Kan.); Anton Watson (Gonzaga Prep/Spokane, Wash.); Mark Watts Jr. (Old Redford Academy/Detroit, Mich.); and Coby White (Greenfield H.S./Goldsboro, N.C.).
“We had 33 guys come here and all 33 competed hard,” said Bill Self, USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach. “We were all so impressed with how much it meant to all of them. But at the end of the day these 18 were the 18 who stood out the most and are certainly very deserving of the opportunity to continue. Now from this, they’ll each get a couple full days in order to show that they could be one of the 12 to make this team the best team it possibly can be moving forward into competition.
“It’s going to be difficult to get down to 12. Sometimes putting a USA team together is a little different than just looking at who can score the most points and who can get the most rebounds. So, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. But the 18 that were selected, we thinks gives us a great pool of players to give us the best chance to win.”
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.
The USA Men’s U18 National Team, in the hunt for a fifth-straight gold medal, will compete in Group A and open preliminary round play against Dominican Republic on June 10 (6 p.m. EDT), followed by a June 11 (8:15 p.m. EDT) clash against Panama and tip-off against Puerto Rico on June 12 (6 p.m. EDT).
Group B features Argentina, host Canada, Chile and Ecuador.
Following the preliminary round, 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.
Self will be assisted by Anthony Grant (Dayton) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest).
Purdue University head coach Matt Painter serves as chair of the USA Junior National Team Committee, which includes two-time USA Basketball medalist and 2007-08 USA Men’s Senior National Team member Shane Battier as the athlete representative; and NCAA representatives Tony Bennett (University of Virginia), Ed Cooley (Providence College) and Sean Miller (University of Arizona).
Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).
FIBA Americas U18 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.
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.
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).