By USA Basketball
After three days of training camp that began with 30 hopefuls on June 15 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 18 finalists for the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup have been unveiled.
The finalists include: Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Vernon Carey Jr. (University School/Southwest Ranches, Fla.); Joshua Christopher (Mayfair H.S./Lakewood, Calif.); Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial H.S./Fresno, Calif.); R.J. Hampton (Frisco Liberty /Little Elm, Texas); De’Vion Harmon (Guyer H.S./Corinth, Texas); Zion Harmon (Marshall County H.S./Bowling Green, Ky.); Jalen Johnson (Sun Prairie H.S./Sun Prairie, Wis.); Johnny Juzang (Harvard Westlake H.S./North Hollywood, Calif.); Adam Miller (Morgan Park H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Evan Mobley (Rancho Cucamonga H.S./Temecula, Calif.); Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill H.S./Charlotte, N.C.); Casey Morsell (St. John’s College H.S./Washington, D.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.).
“This was probably the best U17 camp I’ve been involved with,” said USA U17 head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball youth division coach director), who has been head coach of every USA U17 World Cup Team since the event started in 2010. “I think overall, the depth one through 30 was outstanding. I thought the energy level was really high for all five practices.
“The finalists are all very versatile, which is what we need from an international standpoint,” Showalter added.
The USA’s assistant coaches are Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.).
Seven players are set to graduate high school in 2019, 10 are members of the high school class of 2020 and Zion Harmon will graduate high school in 2021.
Two athletes verbally committed to colleges or universities, including De’Vion Harmon to the University of Oklahoma and Morsell to the University of Virginia.
Ten of the gold medalists from the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team are finalists, including MVP Carey, Barnes, Green, Hampton, De’Vion Harmon, Zion Harmon, Moore, Roach, Suggs and Weems.
Okoro attended training camp for the 2017 USA U16 National Team.
Three athletes have experience from at least one USA Basketball Junior National Team October minicamp, including Joshua Christopher, Jalen Johnson, Isaiah Stewart; and four were taking part in the inaugural USA Basketball event, including: Juzang, Miller, Mobley and Morsell.
The USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U17 athletes and coaching staff.
Finalists 18 will continue training camp at the USOTC, and the 12-member roster will be named prior to the team’s departure for the competition on June 23. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 17 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2001).
Featuring 16 national teams, the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup will be played June 26-July 8 in Rosario and Santa Fe, Argentina.
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, Mali on July 1 and Serbia on July 3.
Following the preliminary round, all teams will advance to the round of 16 on July 4. Round of 16 winners advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 6, and the semifinals will be played on July 7 followed by the finals on July 8.