Beasley Named to USA U19 World Championship Team

DALLAS, Texas Kansas State incoming freshman forward Michael Beasley was one of 12 players chosen to the USA Basketball U19 World Championship team that will represent the country at the 2007 FIBA World Championships that will be held July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

 

Beasley was joined on the squad by Darrell Arthur (Kansas / Dallas, Texas); Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.): Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Donte’ Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.); DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. / Humble, Texas); David Lighty (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio); Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio); Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.); and Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.).

 

"I was excited about the attitude that all the kids brought to Dallas, said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright.  “I think in a very short period all of the kids attending the trials understood the significance of what faced them and because of that they all approached the trials as if they were a part of the team. It was intense, it was competitive, but it also showed a lot about their character and how they played together. There was very, very little selfish play. I think they all benefitted from this experience and will be better players just for these couple of days,"

 

"In terms of the team, I think the one thing you need to have in today’s basketball is versatility. We have perimeter players that can play with and without the ball. We have very mobile inside kids. I think we really benefit from the fact that the majority of the team has one year of college basketball under their belt and all of them come from programs where they’ve been coached and they already understand the physicality of what they will be facing. I think we’re a strong, athletic, very quick team that will play the right way and one that has chance to represent the country at a very high level.

 

"What everybody has to understand now is how important each possession is in practice. Because we have such limited practice time, in order to build a team and to deal with what we will face we really need to focus on each and every possession in practice so that we can be organized when we play in these games. We’ll certainly try to impress upon the kids that the teams we are going to play have practiced a lot together and we’re going to have to overcome that with team play and we’re really going to have to be intense and we’re going to have to be focused on each and every possession," Wainwright added.

 

Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, will lead the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University’s (D.C.) Karl Hobbs will serve as assistant coaches.

 

Beasley was one of five players selected that boast prior USA Basketball experience, including one of three members of the 2006 USA U18 National Team that finished 4-0, captured gold, and qualified the United States for the 2007 U19 World Championship.  Beasley (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); Flynn (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); and Greene (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team) were all members of the U18 National team and were most recently members of the victorious 2007 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 100-80 in the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit.

 

Additionally, Porter participated in the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials and was named a finalist for the team, while Arthur (2005 Youth Development Festival White Team) is an alumnus of USA Basketball’s Youth Development Festival.  Eight of the USA’s team members completed their collegiate freshman season in 2006-07, four wrapped up their high school senior campaign on 2007.

 

The USA U19 World Championship Team will continue training Saturday (2-4 p.m. CDT) and Sunday (10 a.m.-12 p.m. CDT), and is scheduled to meet China in a 5 p.m. (CDT) game on Sunday, July 1, at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The U.S. is certain to have its hands fulls when it faces the China Senior National Team which is expected to include 7-6 Houston Rockets star and NBA All-Star Yao Ming, and 6-11 Yi Jianlian, who was the No. 6 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. China, the defending FIBA Asia zone champions, most recently finished ninth in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and placed eighth in the 2004 Olympics.

 

The USA squad will also participate in the 2007 Global Games and will meet team Africa on July 5 (8 p.m.), Puerto Rico’s U19 National Team on July 6 (6 p.m.), and the Global Games finals will be conducted on July 7. Also competing in the Global Games are Argentina, the Global Games AA team, and a team to de determined. All of the Global Games action will be held at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU.

 

Tickets for the Sunday, July 1 USA versus China game and for the July 7 Global Games finals are $5, and just $3 for the USA’s games on July 5 and July 6. Tickets will be available by calling (214) 768-GAME (4263), or through the Moody Coliseum Box Office (6024 Airline Road, Dallas, Texas).

 

FIBA U19 World Championship for Men

The USA U19 World Championship team will compete in the July 1222 FIBA U19 World Championship in Novi Sad, Serbia. The draw for the tournament was held on Feb. 27, and the United States was placed in Group B for preliminary round action along with China (FIBA Asia gold medalist), Mali (FIBA Africa silver medalist) and host Serbia (FIBA Europe fifth place finisher).

 

In addition to the USA’s pool, included among the 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments are Brazil (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), France (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Lebanon (FIBA Asia bronze medalist) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver medalist) in Group A; Group C consists of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Canada (FIBA Americas fourth place finisher), Nigeria (FIBA Africa gold medalist) and Turkey (FIBA Europe fourth place finisher); while Group D includes Argentina (FIBA Americas silver medalist), Puerto Rico (FIBA Americas fifth place finisher), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver medalist) and Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist).

 

The USA will open play against Mali on July 12 at 6 p.m. (All times listed are local times. Novi Sad, Serbia, is six hours ahead of EDT), followed by China on July 13 at 8:30 p.m,. and will cap preliminary play against host Serbia on July 14 at 6 p.m. The top three teams from each of the four preliminary round groups advance to the July 16-18 second round. The top three teams from Groups A and B will compete in round-robin play in second round Group E; while the top three teams from Groups C and D will play each other in Group F. The preliminary round results carry over to the second round standings, and teams will only face advancing squads from the opposite group in second round action. Quarterfinals will be contested on July 20, the semifinals on July 21 and the gold medal tilt is slated for July 22.

 

Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament has been held every four years since 1979 and will now be contested every other year beginning in 2009. USA men’s teams are 45-10 in the U19/Junior World Championships and have won three gold and two silver medals in seven U19/Junior Worlds, while placing fifth with a 7-1 record most recently in 2003.

 

Some of the athletes who have represented the United States at the U19/Junior World Championships include: Stacey Augmon (1987); Vin Baker (1991); Dee Brown (2003); Vince Carter (1995); Nick Collison (1999); Paul Davis (2003); Eric Floyd (1979); Larry Johnson (1987); Stephon Marbury (1995); Gary Payton (1987); Sam Perkins (1979); Wesley Person (1991); Kevin Pittsnogle (2003); J.J. Redick (2003); Bobby Simmons (1999); Scott Skiles (1983); Deron Williams (2003); and James Worthy (1979).