After tipping-off training camp June 1 with 32 athletes at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and paring the list of finalists to 16 on Sunday morning, the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team was finalized Monday night. The team will remain in Colorado Springs to continue training for the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which will be held June 14-18 in Formosa, Argentina.
Named to the 12-member USA U16 National Team were: Scottie Barnes (Cardinal Newman H.S./Welllington, Fla.); Vern 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(John Guyer H.S./Corinth, Texas); Zion Harmon (Bowling Green H.S./Bowling Green, Ky.); Wendell Moore Jr. (Cox Mill H.S./Concord, N.C.); Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic H.S./Leesburg, Va.); Jalen Suggs(Minnehaha Academy H.S./St. Paul, Minn.); Isaiah Todd (John Marshall H.S./Richmond, Va.); Romeo Weems (New Haven H.S./New Haven, Mich.); and James Wiseman (The Ensworth School/Nashville, Tenn.).
“We’ve got a really good group that’s incredibly talented and versatile,” said USA U16 National Team head coach Don Showalter. “When we got down to 16, we put in our system and now with 12 (players) remaining we’re going to sharpen things up over the next few days. We’re going to put a few more things in offensively and defensively and really focus in on our goal.
“Some of the guys got caught in the numbers, as far as making the team. We’re all really pleased with everybody’s work ethic and attitude. Nobody got cut because of those things, it was just what we felt was going to be pieces to fit into our puzzle in order to make the best team.”
The team will practice twice a day at the USOTC through June 9, at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (all times local, MDT), prior to departing for Argentina and the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The top four finishing teams not including Argentina will qualify for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup for Men. Argentina has earned a bid to host the 2018 U17 World Cup and therefore earned an automatic berth to next year’s U17 World Cup.
USA Basketball has claimed the gold medal in all four editions of the biennial event, which was first held in 2009, and under the direction of Showalter, the USA is now 20-0 in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action.
Athletes eligible for this team must be 16 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2001) and U.S. citizens.
The U.S. squad will practice in Formosa June 11-13 before tipping off preliminary play June 14 against Puerto Rico. The USA will face Dominican Republic on June 15 and cap preliminary games against Mexico on June 16. Semifinals will be held June 17 and the finals are on June 18. Playing in Group A will be Argentina, Canada, Paraguay and Venezuela.
Showalter will be assisted on the sideline by Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.).
As of March 1, 2017, 13 of the 48 former USA U16 National Team members were under contract in the NBA, four were competing professionally in international leagues, 20 were competing in the NCAA and 11 were still in high school.
USA U16 team members of note include: Bradley Beal (2009), Quinn Cook (2009), Aaron Gordon(2011), Markus Howard (2015), James Michael McAdoo (2009), Malik Newman (2013), Jahlil Okafor (2011), Jabari Parker (2011), Diamond Stone (2013); Gary Trent Jr. (2015), Jarred Vanderbilt (2015) and Seventh Woods (2013).
USA Basketball Men’s National Team director Sean Ford serves as chair of the USA Men’s Developmental National Team Committee, which selects athletes and coaches for this team. The committee also includes 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalists Keith Langford and Damien Wilkins as the athlete representatives. Serving as at-large representatives are Evan Daniels of Scout.com and FOX Sports and St. Edward High School (Ohio) head coach Eric Flannery, who served as head coach of the 2015 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team and who was an assistant coach for the gold medal winning 2013 USA U16 Championship and 2014 USA U17 World Championship teams. Torrey Pines High School (Calif.) head coach John Olive, who served as a head coach of the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit team, will represent the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and Boo Williams of Boo Williams AAU will represent the Amateur Athletic Association.