Thirteen Athletes Remain in Contention for 2019 USA Men’s U16 National Team
Following an additional four practice sessions from May 24-25 in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida, the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team finalists were reduced from 18 to 13 athletes still in contention for the 2019 USA U16 National Team.
The training camp, which began on May 22 with 30 athletes, is being used to select the 12 who will represent USA Basketball in the sixth edition of the FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men, which will take place June 3-9 in Belém, Brazil, in hopes of securing a gold medal and berth to the 2020 FIBA U17 World Cup.
The 13 finalists will remain in Fort Lauderdale to train and the 12-member team will be announced prior to departing for Brazil on May 30.
The selected 13 finalists for the 2019 USA U16 National Team are: Amari Bailey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Chatsworth, Calif.); Nathan Bittle (Crater H.S./Central Point, Ore.); Max Christie (Rolling Meadows H.S./Arlington Heights, Ill.); Jalen Duren (Roman Catholic H.S., Pa.)/New Castle, Del.); Gregg Glenn III (Calvary Christian Academy/Pompano Beach, Fla.); AJ Griffin (Archbishop Stepinac H.S./Ossining, N.Y.); Dillon Hunter (Westlake H.S./Atlanta, Ga.); Richard Isaacs Jr. (Coronado H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Will Jeffress (McDowell H.S./Erie, Pa.); Tamin Lipsey (Ames H.S./Ames, Iowa); Chris Livingston (Buchtel H.S./Akron, Ohio); Jabari Smith Jr. (Sandy Creek H.S./Tyrone, Ga.); and Kijani Wright (Windward H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.).
“After the past couple of days of really intense workouts, the guys have again made this a really, really tough process for us,” said USA U16 head coach Mike Jones (DeMatha Catholic H.S., Md.). “We had to send some really talented guys home, but we know they’ll be back with us later down the road.
“I’m really happy for the talent that we have. We’re getting close, a couple more practices and we should have our 12 guys ready to go down to Brazil and chase gold. We could not be more excited about the opportunity. These kids, they’re really talented and we’re really happy that they play for the USA.”
The U.S. squad will continue training twice a day through May 29 at the Noel P. Brown Sports Center on the campus of Nova Southeastern University. The May 27 practices run from 10-11:30 a.m. (all times listed are EDT) and 4:30-6:30 p.m. On May 28 and 29, the U.S. is scheduled to train from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Following a light morning session on May 30 from 10-11 a.m., the team will travel to Brazil for its final FIBA Americas U16 Championship preparations with three practices and a scrimmage against Puerto Rico scheduled from May 31-June 2.
The USA men will compete in preliminary round Group A and open play against Argentina on June 3 (5:15 p.m.), before facing Mexico on June 4 (12:30 p.m.) and Dominican Republic on June 5 (12:30 p.m.).
Group B will feature Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.
Following the June 3-5 preliminary round, all eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals on June 7, the semifinals will be played on June 8 and the gold medal game will be played on June 9.
Assisting Jones and the U16 squad are high school head coaches Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio) and Sharman White (Pace Academy, Ga.).
Players eligible for this team must be 16 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2003) and U.S. citizens.
The USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee, chaired by USA Basketball men’s national team director Sean Ford, is responsible for selecting the USA U16 National Team. In addition to Ford, the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee includes at-large representative Evan Daniels, athletic representatives Keith Langford and Damien Wilkins, and John Olive (NFHS) and Boo Williams (AAU).
2019 FIBA Americans U16 Championship for Men
USA Basketball has claimed the gold medal in all five editions of the biennial event, which was first held in 2009. The USA is now 25-0 in men’s FIBA Americas U16 Championship action.
USA U16 team members of note include: Bradley Beal (2009), Vernon Carey Jr. (2017), Quinn Cook (2009), Andre Drummond (2009), Terrance Ferguson (2013), Aaron Gordon (2011), Zion Harmon (2017), Markus Howard (2015), Tyus Jones (2011), Kevin Knox (2015), James Michael McAdoo (2009), Malik Newman (2013), Jahlil Okafor (2011), Jabari Parker (2011), Diamond Stone (2013), Jason Tatum (2013), Gary Trent Jr. (2015), Jarred Vanderbilt (2015) and Seventh Woods (2013).