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.
Head coach Billy Donovan and the U.S. U19 team trimmed its roster to 16 players on Sunday.
Selected as a USA U19 finalist were Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova University/Langhorne, Pa.); Damyean Dotson (University of Oregon/Houston, Texas); Michael Frazier (University of Florida/Tampa, Fla.); Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech/College Park, Ga.); Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.); Jerami Grant (Syracuse University/Bowie, Md.); Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana at Lafayette); James Robinson (University of Pittsburgh/Mitchellville, Md.); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University/Flower Mound, Texas);Jarnell Stokes (University of Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke University/Houston, Texas); Mike Tobey (University of Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.); Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.); and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas).
Okafor and Winslow are the only two high school players in the group, and they have been discussing a college package deal along with Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones.
“We had 26 really, really good players and all of the guys made the selection very, very difficult,” 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,” added Donovan, who led the 2012 USA U18 Team to a 5-0 record, a FIBA Americas U18 gold medal finish and a qualifying berth for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Assisting Donovan with the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team are Tony Bennett (University of Virginia) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) as assistant coaches.
**For more stories on the USA U19 & U16 teams, click here.
Photo/Release: 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.