USA Basketball named the roster for its Junior National Select Team that will take on the World Team in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit.
The event, which features America’s premier high school seniors playing against elite international players under the age of 19, is slated for Saturday, April 20 at 4 p.m. at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
The USA will be led by four players with past experience in international basketball events, including medalists Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif./uncommitted), Rondae Jefferson (Chester, Pa./Arizona), Jabari Parker (Simeon, Chicago, Ill./Duke), and Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy, McKinney, Texas/uncommitted).
The roster also features Kentucky commits Aaron and Andrew Harrison (Travis High School, Richmond, Va.) — both of whom were 2012 training camp invites – as well as Florida-bound point guard Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy, Montverde, Fla.), Demetrius Jackson (Marian High School, Mishawaka, Ind./Notre Dame), Bobby Portis (Hall High School, Little Rock, Ark./Arkansas), and forward Noah Vonleh (New Hampton, N.H./Indiana).
“I think, first and foremost, looking at so much international basketball experience on this team, with the guys having played on the last U16, U17, and U18 teams, their familiarity with the international game is really going to benefit us,” USA coach Mike Jones of DeMatha Catholic (Md.) said. “So many of the guys actually having played with each other will be a benefit to us as well.”
Jones was an assistant for last year’s squad, which fell to the World Team, 84-75. That combination of standouts also consisted of the NBA Draft’s top three picks this past summer: Anthony Davis (Kentucky/New Orleans Hornets), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky/Charlotte Bobcats) and Bradley Beal (Florida/Washington Wizards).
“I learned a lot last year,” he said. “I know our guys will be able to look at the World roster and recognize some of the players and have respect for their talent. We are going to be focused on making sure the USA wins. We don’t want to lose two in a row.”
Since the first Hoops Summit in 1995, six alumni have been chosen No. 1 in the draft and five have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award – including former St. Patrick (N.J.) and Duke star Kyrie Irving and former Simeon (Ill.) and Memphis phenom Derrick Rose.
(Release/photo courtesy USA Basketball)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.