Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes and Bishop Miege senior forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl survived a final round of cuts on Tuesday and will compete for USA Basketball’s men’s under-18 national team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship June 11-17 in Canada.
In all, 33 athletes gathered Thursday for workouts in Colorado Springs, Colo., attempting to secure a spot on the 12-player team, coached by Kansas’ Bill Self and assisted by Wake Forest’s Danny Manning and Dayton’s Anthony Grant. The roster was trimmed to 18 on Sunday and 12 on Tuesday.
Grimes is a 6-foot-5 combo guard from College Park High School in The Woodlands, Texas; Robinson-Earl a 6-9 senior forward from Bishop Miege High School, who is considering KU, Kansas State, Missouri, North Carolina and others in recruiting.
Others to make the team, which will leave Thursday for St. Catharines, Canada: Mizzou recruiting target Rocket Watts of Old Redford Academy in Detroit; Cole Anthony, Archbishop Molloy High School, Briarwood, N.Y.; Armando Bacot, Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond, Va.; 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.; Tyrese Maxey, South Garland High, Dallas; and Coby White, Greenfield High, Goldsboro, N.C.
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The team was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.
“It was tough getting it to 12,” Self said. “It was tough getting it from 33 to 18, but even with the 18 we’ve had a couple of extra days with, and know how committed they all are to trying to make the team, knowing that different guys look better on different days and in different situations. It was tough getting to 12 because there are a lot of interchangeable parts.
"I think the committee made some good selections and I’m excited about working with this group. One of the things I think they bring to the table is versatility. They’re very interchangeable. I can see us playing four little guards around a big.
“I could see us playing two bigs, two little guards and a three. I think this team has some different things they’ll be able to do, depending on how we stack up against our opponents. The other thing, and this goes for all (12) guys, the appearance is that they really like each other. The appearance is that they’ll be a fun group to spend two weeks with, which obviously is very important to teams being successful, of guys understanding that some days it might not be their day, it might be somebody else’s day.”
Grimes is the only team member who previously has played for a USA Basketball national team. He competed in the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit. Anthony, Bacot, Hurt, Jackson-Davis, James, Maxey and Watts were members of the 2018 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that competed in the NCAA Next Generation Sunday at this year's Final Four.
Dosumnu, Hepa, Robinson-Earl and White were chosen to the under-18 team after participating in their first USA Basketball training camp.
The U.S. under-18 team, which has won four straight gold medals, will compete in Group A and open preliminary round play against the Dominican Republic at 5 p.m. Sunday, followed by a 7:15 p.m Monday game against Panama and a 5 p.m. game against Puerto Rico on Tuesday, June 12.