From our friends at USA Basketball:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 12, 2011) – Following three days of practices featuring 27 of the nation’s top 16-and-unders at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team was finalized on Sunday night, USA Basketball announced. The USA U16 National Team members were selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee and drawn from the 2011-12 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team pool.
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1995.
The U.S. U16 squad will remain at the USOTC to train through June 17 prior to departing for Cancun, Mexico, to compete in the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. The tournament, featuring eight U16 national teams from the Americas Zone (North, South and Central America and the Caribbean), will take place June 21-25 and the top three finishing teams will earn a berth to the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship. The 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team, should the U.S. qualify for the U17 Worlds, will be comprised of USA Developmental National Team members, and is scheduled for June 29 – July 12 in Lithuania.
“I think the team the Committee selected is really, really good,” said two-time USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year Don Showalter (Mid-Prairie High School, Iowa). “We have a lot of talent. It’s a very talented and skilled team. I know it was really hard to choose 12 players out of the 27 we brought in, but I think that the 12 who were chosen will certainly represent USA Basketball on and off the court in a really great manner. They’re talented and they can play different positions, they’re very versatile. We have some good shooters and good rebounders. We have a good mix of what we need for international competition.”
The 12 members of the 2011 USA U16 National Team are: Larry Austin (Lamphier H.S. / Springfield, Ill.); Conner Frankamp (Wichita North H.S. / Wichita, Kan.); Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S. / San Jose, Calif.); Justin Jackson (Home School Christian Youth Association / Houston, Texas); Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei H.S. / Fullerton, Calif.); Tyus Jones (Apple Valley H.S. / Apple Valley, Minn.); Kendrick Nunn (Simeon H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Jabari Parker (Simeon H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Theo Pinson (Oakridge Military Academy / Greensboro, N.C.); Malik Price-Martin (Monsignor Edward Pace H.S. / Miami, Fla.); and Johnathan Williams (Southwind H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.).
Last Oct., USA Basketball held a mini-camp to help determine members of the 2011-12 USA Developmental National Team and 10 members of the USA U16 squad participated in that camp, including Austin, Frankamp, Gordon, Johnson, Jones, Okafor, Parker, Pinson, Price-Martin and Williams.
Included on the roster is the 2011 ESPN Rise National Sophomore of the Year in Parker, while MaxPreps.com listed Gordon and Parker on its 2001 Sophomore All-America first team and Frankamp was named to the second team; while the MaxPreps.com 2011 Freshman All-America first team included Jones, and Johnson received honorable mention.
Showalter is being assisted over the next two years by Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) and Mike Jones (DeMatha High School, Md.).
The draw to determine the preliminary round pools was held on May 27, and the USA was drawn into Group B, along with Argentina, Brazil and one of the two qualifying teams from the June 15-19 CONCENCABA U16 Championship (Central America and the Caribbean). Group A consists of Canada, Chile, host Mexico and the other team advancing out of the CONCENCABA tournament.
The U.S. opens play on June 21 against Brazil (7:00 p.m. EDT), followed by a June 22 contest against Argentina (7:00 p.m. EDT) and will cap preliminary round play against the CONCENCABA qualifying team on June 23 (3:00 p.m. EDT). Semifinals are slated for June 24 and the finals will be played on June 25.
Chaired in a non-voting position by Sean Ford, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director, the USA Men’s Developmental National Team Committee also includes AAU appointees Ron Crawford and Boo Williams, National Federation of High Schools representatives Eric Flannery and John Olive and athlete representative Kermit Holmes (1999 USA Pan American Games Team).
In the inaugural 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship that was held in Mendoza, Argentina, the U.S. squad was flat out impressive. Scoring an average of 113.0 points a game, the USA won its five games by an average of 33.8 points a game to claim the competition’s first gold medal and qualify the U.S. for the 2011 FIBA U17 World Championship. The 2010 USA U17 squad also dominated opponents, winning its eight games by an average of 34.9 points a game, en route to gold.