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UK recruiting target Vernon Carey makes cut for USA under 17 team, Kentuckian Zion Harmon does not

Vernon Carey (USA Basketball)

The roster for the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team today was finalized after six days of training camp at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Named to the team were: Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Vernon Carey Jr. (University School/Southwest Ranches, Fla.); Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial H.S./Fresno, Calif.); R.J. Hampton (Little Elm H.S./Little Elm, Texas); De’Vion Harmon (Guyer H.S./Corinth, Texas); Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian H.S./Temecula, Calif.); Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill H.S./Charlotte, N.C.); Isaac Okoro (McEachern H.S./Powder Springs, Ga.); Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic H.S./Leesburg, Va.); Isaiah Stewart (La Lumiere School, Ind./Rochester, N.Y.); Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.); and Romeo Weems (New Haven H.S./New Haven, Mich.).

Zion Harmon of Marshall County was one of those who did not make the final 12-player roster.

“First of all, it was very difficult to get down to 12,” said USA U17 head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball youth division coach director), a nine-time recipient of the USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award and a nine-time gold medalist head coach of USA U16 and U17 national teams. “We feel the 12 that we have fit what we need, which is versatility. They can play different positions. We’ve got some shooters. We’ve got some slashers. So, I think the 12 we have kind of have the whole package for us.”

Training camp began with 30 hopefuls on June 15, and 18 finalists for the team named on June 18 trained through June 20.

James Wiseman (East H.S./Nashville, Tenn.) was not able to be considered for the team due to injury.

The team will continue training camp at the USOTC until departing for the competition on June 23.

The USA’s assistant coaches are Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.).

Nine of the gold medalists from the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team, which qualified the USA for the 2018 U17 World Cup, return, including 2017 U16 MVP Carey, Barnes, Green, Hampton, Harmon, Moore, Roach, Suggs and Weems.

Okoro attended training camp for the 2017 USA U16 National Team, and he and Stewart took part in the 2017 and 2016 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team October minicamps.

Mobley was named to the 2018 U17 team after taking part in his inaugural USA Basketball event.

Six players are set to graduate high school in 2019 and six are members of the high school class of 2020.

Two athletes have verbally committed to universities, including Harmon to the University of Oklahoma and Weems to DePaul University.

The USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U17 athletes and coaching staff. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 17 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2001).

The USA men, four-time U17 gold medalists who will be looking to defend a 30-0 record at the event, open against China on June 30, followed by Mali on July 1 and Serbia on July 3.

Following the preliminary round, all teams will advance to the July 4 round of 16. Round of 16 winners advance to the July 6 medal quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on July 7, and the finals will be contested on July 8.

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