Seventh Woods is one of 16 athletes still in the running for one of 12 spots on the 2013 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team. (Steven Maikoski/USA Basketball)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 2, 2013) - Following a three-day training camp featuring 30 members of the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team, 16 finalists were today announced for the 2013 USA Basketball U16 National Team. The roster will be pared down to 12 before the squad departs on June 7 for the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which will be played June 11-15 in Maldonado, Uruguay. The finalists, who must be 16-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1997) and a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this team, were selected by the USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team Committee.
Named as finalists to the 2013 U.S. U16 squad were: Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney H.S. / Rochester, N.Y.); Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga College H.S. (DC) / Kensington, Md.); Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S. / Rice Lake, Wis.); Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy / Flower Mound, Texas); Daniel Giddens (Wheeler H.S. / Mableton, Ga.); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.); Mustapha Heron (Wilbraham & Monson Academy / West Haven, Conn.); Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep / Southfield, Mich.); V.J. King (St. Vincent - St. Mary H.S. / Akron, Ohio); Malik Monk (East Poinsett County H.S. / Lepanto, Ark.); 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 Tatam (Chaminade College Prep / St. Louis, Mo.) and Seventh Woods (Hammond School / Columbia, S.C.).
"Without question, of all the developmental camps we've had, this had the greatest depth and was probably one of the most competitive situations we've had over three days," said USA Basketball Men's National Team Director Sean Ford, who is the non-voting chair of the USA Developmental National Team Committee. "We felt that 16 was a number that we needed to get to in order to get a closer look at players. I think it's a credit to the players and their effort that we did get to 16 and I think it was a reward to them as well. These are players who deserve to be a part of the next group. That said, there wasn't a player in the camp that we wouldn't feel comfortable putting in a USA Basketball uniform."
"Obviously the strength of this team is its depth," said USA Basketball veteran head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). "When you look at these 30 players, they all have some very good athletic ability and some very strong game talents. To cut this down further is very difficult.
"When trying to get to a final team, you always look at how well you can defend. I think that's going to be a key factor. You also look at what players can play multiple positions, because you like to have players who can play more than one position. Internationally, that really helps us. And then of course, strength on the boards is a big factor as well and obviously you also want some shooters in that bunch."
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 14 states represented, only two, California and Wisconsin, are represented with two athletes apiece. Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina Ohio, South Carolina and Texas each have one athlete among the final group.
The U.S. squad will remain in Colorado Springs to train twice a day June 2-6 (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 (gold medalist), Mexico (silver medalist) and Bahamas (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2012 Centrobasket U15 Championship; and Argentina (gold medalist) and Chile (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2012 South American U15 Championship. Uruguay captured the silver medal, which gave Chile, which defeated Brazil for the bronze, the final U16 berth.
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.
Chaired in a non-voting position by Ford, the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team Committee also includes National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) appointees John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S., Calif.) and Herman Harried (Lake Clifton Campus H.S., Md.); Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) representatives Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) and Boo Williams (Boo Williams AAU, Va.); at-large member Dave Telep (ESPN senior college basketball recruiting analyst); and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups, a 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medalist and a member of three USA Basketball teams, and Gerry McNamara, who played on the 2005 USA World University Games Team.
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