USA Basketball announced Syracuse forward Jerami Grant, who has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, will be replaced by his former DeMatha Catholic High School teammate and current Pittsburgh guard James Robinson on the Under-19 team, preparing for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.
“I’m disappointed and feel bad for Jerami,” head coach Billy Donovan said in a statement from USA Basketball on Tuesday. “Unfortunately even since the tryouts he just never seemed himself; it seemed like he was ailing – he had a sore throat, then it was strep throat and nothing really helped; we even got him on penicillin and we took him for some blood work and it came back mono.”
The 6-foot-3 Robinson was one of 16 finalists for the Under-19 team before that list was trimmed to just 12. Robinson averaged 6.1 points, 3.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game for the Panthers, starting in all but one game during his freshman season. Robinson is also familiar with USA Basketball, winning a gold medal with the Under-18 team.
“I think bringing James (Robinson) back is a good thing because he played last year on our U18 team,” Donovan added. “He was one of the last guys not to make this year’s team. We made the decision this year to go with five guards and seven front court guys, and that’s a little bit of a different look than it was last year when we were a little bit more guard heavy.
“James coming back gives us some stability at the point guard spot, gives us another strong, physical guard, gives us a guy that had a lot of playing experience last year at Pitt.”
USA Basketball begins preliminary play on Thursday against the Ivory Coast. Followed by games against China and Russia the next two days. The semifinals and finals are scheduled on July 5-7.