Incoming Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes and Bishop Miege senior forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl survived the first round of cuts on Sunday and thus are two of 18 finalists for USA Basketball’s men’s under-18 national team.
The remaining athletes from the initial pool of 33 will continue training twice a day at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The final 12-member team will be announced before the team’s departure Thursday for St. Catharines, Canada, and the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
The 18 finalists include the 6-foot-9 Earl and 6-5 Grimes as well as: Cole Anthony, Archbishop Molloy High School, Briarwood, N.Y.; Armando Bacot, Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond, Va.; Keion Brooks, North Side High School, Fort Wayne, Ind.; D.J. Carton, Bettendorf (Iowa) High School; Hunter Dickinson, DeMatha Catholic High, Hyattsville, Md.; Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Morgan Park High; Kamaka Hepa, Jefferson High, Barrow, Alaska; Matthew Hurt, Marshall High, Rochester, Minn.; Trayce Jackson-Davis, Center Grove High, Greenwood, Ind.; Josiah James, Porter-Gaud School, Charleston, S.C.; Jalen Leque, Christ School, Teaneck, N.J.; Tyrese Maxey, South Garland High, Dallas; Justin Moore, DeMatha Catholic High, Hyattsville, Md.; Anton Watson, Gonzaga Prep, Spokane, Wash.; Mark Watts, Old Redford Academy, Detroit; and Coby White, Greenfield High, Goldsboro, N.C.
Selections were made by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee. In all, 33 athletes arrived in Colorado on Thursday for the start of tryouts.
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“We had 33 guys come here and all 33 competed hard,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, coach of the U18 team. “We were all so impressed with how much it meant to all of them. But at the end of the day, these 18 were the 18 who stood out the most and are certainly very deserving of the opportunity to continue. Now from this, they’ll each get a couple full days in order to show that they could be one of the 12 to make this team the best team it possibly can be moving forward into competition.
“It’s going to be difficult to get down to 12. Sometimes putting a USA team together is a little different than just looking at who can score the most points and who can get the most rebounds. So, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. But the 18 that were selected we think gives us a great pool of players to give us the best chance to win," Self added.
The FIBA Americas U18 championships will run June 11-17 in Canada. The squad must place in the top four at the upcoming tournament to qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men.