COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 15, 2014) -- With the addition of Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove H.S./Elk Grove, Calif.), Dennis Smith Jr. (Trinity Christian School/Fayetteville, N.C.) and Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.), the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team now lists 38 of the top 17-and-under basketball players in the nation, 36 of whom will attend the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team training camp that tips-off July 24 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC), the team's domestic training camp runs through Aug. 1, with finalists for the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team expected to be announced on July 26 and the 12-member team will be named prior to Aug. 1.
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.
"Not only is the coaching staff excited, we've had some calls and the players are excited, too," said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S./Iowa City, Iowa), who directed the USA to gold medals at the 2010 and 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships and the 2009, 2011 and 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championships. "It's going to be a really tough training camp, from the standpoint of the kids -- they are all going to be in great shape physically and wanting to make the team. The players are really looking forward to it and a lot of them have asked what they need to do between now and when the training camp starts to become better, things that they can do to work on themselves, individually. That's a good sign when they're asking those kinds of questions.
"We'll probably have a different roster going to Dubai this summer (than we had at the U16s last summer). It's kind of been our history. Two years ago we didn't take five players who made the U16s, because kids got better and grew and so forth. So, I think we're going to look at it the same way this year, where it's a wide-open process. Everybody who is coming to training camp has a shot at making the U17 team. We don't have any predetermined players who are going to make the team. I think that helps in the competition level. It helps in the focus and attitude of the players as well."
The USA Developmental National Team will train once on July 24, from 5-7:30 p.m. (all times listed are MDT) and with the exception of a lone 8:30-10:30 a.m. practice on July 26, the squad will practice twice daily through Aug. 1, from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. and again from 4:30-7 p.m.
Prior to traveling to Dubai on Aug. 6, the U.S. squad will spend Aug. 3-5 training in Doha, Qatar. Following a practice on Aug. 7, the USA U17 World Championship Team will open play on Aug. 8 against Greece, followed by an Aug. 9 contest versus Angola and a final preliminary-round game against the Philippines on Aug. 11. The round of 16 will be contested Aug. 12, quarterfinals are slated for Aug. 14, semifinals on Aug. 15 and the finals will take place Aug. 16.
Chriss, who gained experience at the 2014 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team training camp, averaged 19.0 points and 11.7 rebounds a game as a junior for Pleasant Grove en route to earning 2014 Sacramento Bee All-Metro honors. As a sophomore, he helped lead Pleasant Grove to the California Interscholastic Federation Division I state title and averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a game.
A rising high school junior, Smith in 2013-14 averaged 17.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game in leading Trinity Catholic to the North Carolina Independent Schools Class A state championship. Smith was named to the 2014 Associated Press All-State first team and the 2014 Fayetteville Observer All-Cape Fear Region Player of the Year.
Swanigan, who listed as the only underclassman on the 2014 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel All-Area Team following his sophomore season, was a 2014 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Underclass All-State first team and 2014 Associated Press All-State third team selection. He averaged 20.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game last year, recently reclassified and will graduate high school in 2015.
In addition to Chriss, Smith and Swanigan, members of the USA Developmental National Team expected to train in Colorado Springs on July 24 are: Edrice Adebayo (Northside H.S./Gatesville, N.C.); Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard's School/ Edison, N.J.); Terrell Brown (St. Andrew's School/ Barrington, R.I.); Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney H.S./Rochester, N.Y.); Amir Coffey (Hopkins H.S./New Hope, Minn.); Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga College H.S., D.C./Kensington, Md.); Eric Davis (Arthur Hill H.S./Saginaw, Mich.); Juwan Durham (Tampa Preparatory School/Tampa, Fla.); Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S./Rice Lake, Wis.); Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas); De'Aaron Fox (Cypress Lakes H.S./Katy, Texas); Daniel Giddens (Wheeler H.S./ Mableton, Ga.); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.); Quentin Goodin (Taylor County H.S./Campbellsville, Ky.); Jessie Govan (St. Mary's High School/Queens Village, N.Y.); Mustapha Heron (Sacred Heart H.S./West Haven, Conn.); Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep H.S./ Southfield, Mich.); Derrick Jones (Arch Bishop Carroll H.S./Marcus Hook, Pa.); V.J. King (St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S./Akron, Ohio); Joshua Langford (Madison Academy/ Huntsville, Ala.); T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian H.S./Lakeside, Calif.); Malik Monk (Bentonville H.S./Bentonville, Ark.); Doral Moore (Luella H.S./Locust Grove, Ga.); Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.); Payton Pritchard (West Linn H.S./West Linn, Ore.); Ivan Rabb (Bishop O'Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif.); Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); Kobi Simmons (St. Francis H.S./ Alpharetta, Ga.); Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.); Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.); Derryck Thornton (Findlay Prep, Nev./Simi Valley, Calif.); D.J. Williams (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, Ill.); and Seventh Woods (Hammond School/Columbia, S.C.).
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills H.S. / Chino Hills, Calif.) and Horace Spencer (William Tennent H.S./Warminster, Pa.) are members of the 2013-14 USA Developmental National Team, but are unable to participate in the July training camp.
Among the athletes at the U17 training camp will be all 12 players that won gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, including tournament MVP Newman; as well as Bryant, Ferguson, Giddens, Giles, Jackson, King, Rabb, Ramsey, Stone, Tatum and Woods.