LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville men’s basketball rising sophomore Montrezl Harrell is one of 16 finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U-19 World Championship Team, USA Basketball announced Sunday afternoon from Colorado Springs, Colo.
The team, which recently completed its fourth training session at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., will undergo another cut on Wednesday, June 19, to trim the final roster to 12 players for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship. After heading to Washington, D.C., to train at the Washington Wizards’ practice facility from June 20-22, the team will head to the championships in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 24 to July 6.
Should Harrell make the team, it would be the second USA squad he has competed for in his career. The Tarboro, N.C., native was a member of the 2012 USA U-18 gold medalist team. Harrell, one of 10 U-19 finalists with prior USA Basketball experience, played in all five games and led the team in shooting percentage (12-of-15, .800), while grabbing 21 rebounds.
The finalists, who must be 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1994) and a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this team, were selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee.
The list of finalists features two rising college juniors, 10 rising sophomores, two graduating high school seniors and two rising high school seniors.
“We had 26 really, really good players and all of the guys made the selection very, very difficult,” USA U-19 and Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. “I think the things that stand out about this team is just the athleticism; the speed and quickness; the ability to defend and put pressure on people; and offensive rebound.
“We still have to get down to 12 players and the challenge right now is to see how these 16 guys fit into what we’re trying to do. We’ll learn a lot more in the next three practices; we’ll see how well guys pick up certain things; how the chemistry is; the way they bond, the way they connect.
“I think the biggest thing is just our unity, us being connected, understanding what the goal is and them playing together, playing unselfishly. We have a lot of versatile players; guys that can move to different positions; I think we have a lot of size and strength on this team; I think we have guards that can defend and have good quickness and speed.”
Assisting Donovan with the 2013 USA U-19 World Championship Team are college coaches Tony Bennett (Virginia) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth) as assistants.
Training for the finalists will resume Sunday evening (6:30-9 p.m. ET; all times have been adjusted to Eastern), and continue twice a day on June 17 and 18 (11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m.) and once on June 19 (11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.).
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee is responsible for player selections for the USA U19 World Championship Team. In addition to chair and NCAA representative Jim Boeheim (head coach, Syracuse), the committee features four additional voting members: NCAA appointees Bob McKillop (head coach, Davidson), Matt Painter (head coach, Purdue) and Lorenzo Romar (head coach, Washington), as well as athlete representative Curtis Sumpter, a 2011 USA Pan American Games and 2004 USA U-20 National Team member.
FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 World Championship features some of the world’s best, young talent, and six different countries have claimed a gold medal in the past six U19 World Championships.
FIBA conducted the draw to determine the four preliminary round pools on Jan. 15, and the U.S. was placed in Group D with China (FIBA Asia gold), Ivory Coast (FIBA Africa silver) and Russia (FIBA Europe fourth place). Drawn into Group A for the June 27-29 preliminary round were Canada (FIBA Americas bronze), Croatia (FIBA Europe gold), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver) and Spain (FIBA Europe fifth place); Group B includes Argentina (FIBA Americas fourth place), host Czech Republic, Iran (FIBA Asia bronze) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver); while Group C is comprised of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold), Brazil (FIBA Americas silver), Senegal (FIBA Africa gold) and Serbia (FIBA Europe bronze).
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group advance to the second round that will be played July 1-3, where the 12 teams will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with preliminary-round results carrying over to the second-round standings. Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The quarterfinals will be held on July 5, semifinals are slated for July 6 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 7. Game times will be announced by FIBA at a later date.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years between 1979-2007. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every two years. USA men's teams are 69-13 in the U19/Junior World Championships and have won four gold and three silver medals, most recently finishing with a 7-2 record and in fifth place in 2011.
USA U19 World Championship Team players of note include: Stacey Augmon (1987); Vin Baker (1991); Michael Beasley (2007); Dee Brown (2003); Vince Carter (1995); Nick Collison (1999); Stephen Curry (2007); Seth Curry (2009); Paul Davis (2003); Eric Floyd (1979); Jonny Flynn (2007); Gordon Hayward (2009); Larry Johnson (1987); Jeremy Lamb (2011); Stephon Marbury (1995); Doug McDermott (2011); Gary Payton (1987); Sam Perkins (1979); Wesley Person (1991); J.J. Redick (2003); Bobby Simmons (1999); Scott Skiles (1983); Klay Thompson (2009); Deron Williams (2003); and James Worthy (1979).
2013 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team Finalists
NAME POS HT WT DOB YOG SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Ryan Arcidiacono G 6-3 190 03/26/94 2016 Villanova University Langhorne, PA
Damyean Dotson G 6-5 200 05/06/94 2016 University of Oregon Houston, TX
Michael Frazier G 6-4 185 03/08/94 2016 University of Florida Tampa, FL
Marcus Georges-Hunt F 6-6 215 03/28/94 2016 Georgia Tech College Park, GA
Aaron Gordon F 6-6 210 09/16/95 2013 Archbishop Mitty H.S./*Arizona San Jose, CA
Jerami Grant F 6-6 185 03/12/94 2016 Syracuse University Bowie, MD
Montrezl Harrell F 6-7 215 01/26/94 2016 University of Louisville Tarboro, NC
Jahlil Okafor C 6-10 253 12/15/95 2014 Whitney Young H.S. Chicago, IL
Elfrid Payton G 6-3 170 02/22/94 2015 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Gretna, LA
James Robinson G 6-3 200 03/04/94 2016 University of Pittsburgh Mitchellville, MD
Marcus Smart G 6-4 200 03/06/94 2016 Oklahoma State University Flower Mound, TX
Jarnell Stokes F 6-8 250 01/07/94 2015 University of Tennessee Memphis, TN
Rasheed Sulaimon G 6-3 180 03/09/94 2016 Duke University Houston, TX
Mike Tobey F/C 6-11 227 10/10/94 2016 University of Virginia Monroe, NY
Nigel Williams-Goss G 6-3 180 09/16/94 2013 Findlay Prep/*Washington Happy Valley, OR
Justise Winslow F 6-6 210 03/26/96 2014 St. Johns H.S. Houston, TX
Head Coach: Billy Donovan, University of Florida
Assistant Coach: Tony Bennett, University of Virginia
Assistant Coach: Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth University
Athletic Trainer: Dave Werner, University of Florida