Written By USA Basketball
Colorado Springs, Colo.--The 12-member USA U16 National Team will compete in the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which will be played June 11-15 in Maldonado, Uruguay.
Two-time defending gold medalist at the biennial event that was launched in 2009, the U.S. owns an unblemished 10-0 all-time record at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Named to the 2013 U.S. U16 squad were: Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney H.S. / Rochester, N.Y.); Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy / Flower Mound, Texas); Daniel Giddens (Wheeler H.S. / Mableton, Ga.); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.); Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep / Southfield, Mich.); V.J. King (St. Vincent - St. Mary H.S. / Akron, Ohio); Malik Newman (Callaway H.S. / Jackson, Miss.); 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.); Jayson Tatum Chaminade College Prep / St. Louis, Mo.) and Seventh Woods (Hammond School / Columbia, S.C.).
"Getting down from 16 to 12 was very difficult, because everyone played really well," said USA Basketball Men's National Team Director Sean Ford, who is the non-voting chair of the USA Developmental National Team Committee. "It was just that some just played better than others, no one didn't play well. We do feel good about the team. It's very, very athletic. There are a lot of players who can play many different positions and that gives the coaching staff a lot of flexibility both offensively and defensively."
"I'm extremely happy with this team," said USA Basketball veteran head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). "We have depth. We have talented shooters. We have really, really big players inside. We're very versatile, so I feel good about the make-up of our team. It was good to keep 16. It was good for them to be a part of it for a couple more days, but now that we're down to 12, we only have three or four days to focus in on what we need to get done. We put a lot of our stuff in with our 16, but now that we're down to 12 we're going to tighten up a few things and make sure we have everything in place to defend our gold medal."
Including Giles, the 2013 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year, and Newman, the 2013 MaxPreps Sophomore of the Year, a total of 11 were honored as MaxPreps All-Americans following this past season. Newman, Rabb and Stone listed on the Sophomore All-American first team, while Bryant and Ellenson were honorable mentions; Giles and Woods were Freshman All-American first team selections; Jackson, King and Tatum listed on the Freshman All-American second team; while Monk was a Freshman All-American honorable mention.
Three - Bryant (New York Class AA), Newman (Mississippi Class 5A) and Stone (Wisconsin Division 4) -- helped their respective high school teams earn a state title this past season; while Ferguson aided his squad to the National Association of Christian Athletes Division I championship.
Of the 11 states represented, only one, California, is represented with two athletes. Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin each have one athlete on the team.
The U.S. squad will remain in Colorado Springs to train twice a day June 4-6 (9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. MDT) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and will train the morning of June 7 prior to traveling to Uruguay for the June 11-15 tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship. The top four finishing nations from the FIBA Americas U16 Championship advance to the 2014 U17 Worlds.
Qualified to compete in the 2013 U16 Championship are Uruguay, as the host country; Canada and the United States as the North American entries; while Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bahamas qualified through the 2012 Centrobasket U15 Championship; and Argentina and Chile qualified through the 2012 South American U15 Championship.
The U.S. opens play against Mexico on June 11 (4 p.m. EDT), followed by South American rival Argentina on June 12 (6 p.m. EDT) and caps the preliminary round with a June 13 contest against Bahamas (2 p.m. EDT). Teams will be seeded following preliminary round play and semifinals are scheduled for June 14, with the finals played on June 15.
Assisting Showalter and the 2013-14 USA Developmental National Team are Eric Flannery (St. Edward High School, Ohio) and L.J. Goolsby (KC Run GMC, Kan.).
USA Basketball's two prior U16 National Teams enjoyed great success. Traveling to Mendoza, Argentina, for the inaugural FIBA Americas U16 Championship in 2009, the U.S. squad, which featured Bradley Beal, Quinn Cook and James McAdoo, was flat out impressive. Scoring an average of 113.0 points a game, the USA team won its five games by an average of 33.8 ppg. to claim the competition's first gold medal.
The 2011 U.S. squad, with the likes of Aaron Gordon, Jahlil Okafor and Jabari Parker on its roster, was not much different, decimating opponents by an average margin of 42.2 ppg. en route to a perfect 5-0 mark and the gold medal.