Tuesday afternoon, USA Basketball revealed the 12 players that will form the 2013 Under-16 team, participating in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Maldonado, Uruguay next week.
“Getting down from 16 to 12 was very difficult, because everyone played really well,” said USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford in a statement on Tuesday. “It was just that some just played better than others, no one didn’t play well. We do feel good about the team. It’s very, very athletic. There are a lot of players who can play many different positions and that gives the coaching staff a lot of flexibility both offensively and defensively.”
“I’m extremely happy with this team,” added USA Basketball and Iowa City High School head coach Don Showalter. “We have depth. We have talented shooters. We have really, really big players inside. We’re very versatile, so I feel good about the make-up of our team. It was good to keep 16. It was good for them to be a part of it for a couple more days, but now that we’re down to 12, we only have three or four days to focus in on what we need to get done. We put a lot of our stuff in with our 16, but now that we’re down to 12 we’re going to tighten up a few things and make sure we have everything in place to defend our gold medal.”
USA Basketball initially intended on getting down to 12 players by June 7, but with three days to spare they released the Under-16 team:
Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney H.S. / Rochester, N.Y.)
Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy / Flower Mound, Texas)
Daniel Giddens (Wheeler H.S. / Mableton, Ga.)
Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep / Southfield, Mich.)
V.J. King (St. Vincent – St. Mary H.S. / Akron, Ohio)
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.)
Seventh Woods (Hammond School / Columbia, S.C.)
USA Basketball started with 30 players and over the weekend went to only 16 players following a three-day training camp. The U.S. leaves June 7 for the five-day event. Prelimiary rounds run from June 11-13, followed by the semifinals and finals on June 14 and 15.
The U.S. is the two-time defending champions in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne