From our friends at USA Basketball:
After tipping off training camp on July 24 with 32 athletes, which were pared down to 17 finalists on July 26, the official 12-member 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team has been finalized. The roster includes nine members of the 2013 USA U16 National Team that captured gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, including tournament MVP Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.), as well as three international newcomers.
In addition to Newman, the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team includes: Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/ Edison, N.J.); Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S./Rice Lake, Wis.); Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.); Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep H.S./ Southfield, Mich.); V.J. King (St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S./Akron, Ohio); Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif.); Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.); Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); and Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.).
“Any one of the 17 players could have been a part of our 12,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “We couldn’t really make a wrong decision. Whoever would have been picked would have been the right decision. It just boiled down to filling in some gaps as far as who could play well together and who’s going to be specialty people for us. That’s what it kind of boiled down to.
“I’m excited to get started with these 12. Chemistry is obviously a huge issue for us, getting them working together as a team. We’re going to be putting in more of our system with our presses, with our offense and then having the guys getting used to playing with each other. That’s really big for us, because we don’t have a long time to prepare for the FIBA U17 World Championship. So, the more time we spend together on the court, the better we’re going to be.”
The 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men, hosted Aug. 8-16 by Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will feature 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments. Players eligible for this competition must be citizens of the country they represent and have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1997. Two-time defending U17 gold medalist, the USA has a perfect 16-0 record at the U17s. The U.S. qualified for this year’s U17s by virtue of its gold-medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.