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USA MU17 National Team Ready for FIBA World Cup

  • Date:
    Jul 7, 2022

Ahead of the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup, which starts Saturday, July 2, the USA Basketball U17 Men’s National Team has eyes on its sixth-straight gold medal dating back to 2010.

 

Coached by Sharman White (Pace Academy, Ga.), Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio) and Steve Turner (Gonzaga College H.S., Washington D.C.), the USA is eager to compete in Spain following a week of training camp in Colorado Springs.

 

The U.S. will play three preliminary games as a part of Group C that features matchups with Lebanon on Saturday, Slovenia on July 3 and Mali on July 4, before the Round of 16 begins Wednesday.

 

“The teams we’ll be facing are tough,” said head coach Sharman White on the competition the USA will see in group C and across the World Cup field. “All these teams are coming off competitive tournament play and we have to be ready to compete and match that energy if we want to win another gold medal.”

 

The stage is set for some compelling games in Group C, with the USA having only one past World Cup matchup against their group play opponents. The USA hold a 1-0 overall record against Mali (2010) and will face Lebanon and Slovenia for the first time in a U17 World Cup. Both Lebanon and Slovenia will be making their World Cup debuts.

 

Outside of Group C, the USA will contend for gold amongst a crowded field of competitors. The U.S. enters as the No. 1-ranked team after collecting the most points through FIBA contests. Spain, the host team, highlight Group B while sitting behind the Americans as the second-ranked team coming into the event.

 

Group D features one top 10 FIBA ranked team in Australia, while Group A features the third and fourth-ranked teams in France and Canada. France (2018) and Australia (2012, 2014) have won silver in three of the past four U17 World Cups.

 

For streaming details on all games click here

 

USA: Players to Watch

 

DaJuan Wagner enters the World Cup as the top ranked incoming senior in ESPN’s Top 100. The two-time Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year is especially dangerous in transition and has a knack for scoring at all three levels after averaging 22 points his junior season at Camden H.S. (Camden, N.J.).

 

Another member of the 2023 class is forward Ron Holland, who also ranks at the top of his class and returns to international competition after winning gold and finishing with All-Star Five honors at the 2021 FIBA U16 Americas Championship.

 

Ian Jackson, a teammate of Holland’s on the USA team that won gold a year ago, helps represent the class of 2024 after recently capturing MaxPreps’ National Sophomore of the Year award.

 

With a deep pool of returning players, the USA will also add versatility in forwards Koa Peat and Cooper Flagg. Both are coming off standout high school freshman campaigns and rank second and third in the class of 2025, respectively. The two have participated in past USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamps but will make their first competitive appearances this week.

 

Despite a roster packed with individual talent, the strength of the U.S. squad lies in its team first mentality.

 

“This is a talented group of guys...we’re looking to accomplish something bigger than ourselves here so setting aside what we've done at home is important to our success,” White said. “We’re all like one big family right now. With the time we’ve spent together that’s benefited us so far, but we’re still getting better as a team. For us to be able to get this group of guys together has been great, but we still have to go out and play at a high level.”

 

U17 History and Accomplishments

 

In U17 competition, USA Basketball has captured the gold medal in all six occurrences since the event’s inception in 2010. Since that time, USA Basketball has recorded a perfect 37-0 record.

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