Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
USA Basketball announced 14 finalists for the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team.
Headlined by 2011 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year Jabari Parker (Simeon Career Academy / Chicago, Ill.), the list features eight athletes who won a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and one who was on the 2011 USA Basketball 3×3 Youth World Championship Team.
Named as finalists for the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team were: Beejay Anya (DeMatha Catholic H.S. / Gaithersburg, Md.); Joel Berry (Lake Highland Prep School / Apopka, Fla.); Dominique Collier (Denver East H.S. / Denver, Colo.); Stephen Domingo (Saint Ignatius Prep / San Francisco, Calif.); Conner Frankamp (Wichita North H.S. / Wichita, Kan.); Rondaé Jefferson (Chester H.S. / Chester, Pa.); Dakari Johnson (Montverde Academy, Fla. / Brooklyn, N.Y.); Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei H.S. / Fullerton, Calif.); Tyus Jones (Apple Valley H.S. / Apple Valley, Minn.); Kendrick Nunn (Simeon Career Academy / Chicago, Ill.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Parker; Johnathan Williams (Southwind H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.); and Justise Winslow (St. John’s School / Houston, Texas).
“Of the four years I’ve been involved with the USA Developmental National Team, I think this has been by far the most competitive camp,” said Don Showalter, USA and Iowa City High School head coach. “Players came in in great shape. They came in with the idea that they’re going to show what they can do. You look at the roster and you see we have six new faces from last year’s U16 team. That just shows you that some of the guys who didn’t make the team last year used that for motivation to improve their game in order to make this team.
“We still have 14 because there’s still some question about players fitting in, who best fits for international competition. We’re going to take a look at that over the next two or three days. It also makes for a great practice situation with 14 guys, because we have some who are banged up a little big. So, we have two extra guys for practice, which will be a help.”
James Blackmon, Jr. (Bishop Luers H.S. / Fort Wayne, Ind.) attended the training camp, but is in the process of rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered on Feb. 7 and was unable to participate in full-court drills. Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S. / San Jose, Calif.) has a foot injury, James Young (Troy H.S. / Troy, Mich.) had a family emergency and neither were able to attend the training camp.
The finalists for the U.S. U17 squad will continue training in Colorado Springs at the USOTC and their next session is tonight at 3:30 p.m. (all times listed are local, MDT). The USA will continue to train each day at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day through June 20 and the final 12-member team will be announced before the U.S. departs for Europe.
Release, Photo: USA Basketball
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.