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 has named the finalists for the U19 team that will compete in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt July 1-9.
Among the cuts were Desmond Bane, Chaundee Brown, Marques Bolden, Devon Daniels, Malachi Flynn, Charlie Moore, De’Anthony Melton, Shamorie Ponds and Kris Wilkes.
The final cut to the 12-player roster will occur Thursday afternoon.
“I felt really good until this morning,” said coach John Calipari. “There was anxiety this morning for me because you know you’re going to disappoint some of these kids. What I hope is that the games they played here against really good players helped them. I also told them after, we only had four sessions to figure you guys out. This committee went through every name, talked about every kid, and came up with a list. I told these kids, we may be wrong, please prove us wrong, use this as fuel if you don’t make the team, and I’ll be watching everybody. But, I hope you prove us wrong. And for the guys that make it, now it’s on. Now the real stuff begins. I haven’t really coached yet, I’ve just kind of watched you.”
The team kept all three Kentucky players in the mix — Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington — as well as the six high school players in the mix: Jordan Brown, Louis King, Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley and Cam Reddish.
The 6-foot-5 Langford is a top priority for Kentucky, while North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Kansas’ Bill Self and Indiana’s Archie Miller are all there recruiting him.
“This kid is special,” Calipari said, per Ben Roberts. “But he never says anything. I’m just trying to get him to smile, and he’ll do that every once in a while.”
Photo: 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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.