Spokane’s Watson named finalist for team USA’s World Cup roster
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Incoming Gonzaga men’s basketball freshman Anton Watson was named a finalist for the USA Men’s Under-19 World Cup roster. USA Basketball released the finalists Tuesday.
Eighteen finalists for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team were announced following five practice sessions over three days that involved 31 players. The list of finalists includes five USA gold medalists, five players who completed their first collegiate season in 2018-19, five athletes from the high school class of 2019 and eight players from the high school class of 2020.
Named as finalists were: Watson (Gonzaga Prep/Spokane, Wash.); Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Joshua Christopher (Mayfair H.S./Lakewood, Calif.); Cade Cunningham ( Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas); Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.); Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State/Oshkosh, Wis.); Walker Kessler (Woodward Academy/ Newnan , Ga.); Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama/ Meridianville , Ala.); Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State/Mansfield, Texas); Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian School/Temecula, Calif.); Casey Morsell (St. John’s College H.S./Washington, D.C.); Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins H.S./Hopkins, Minn.); Reggie Perry (Mississippi State/Thomasville, Ga.); Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy, FL/Overland Park, Kan.); Jalen Suggs ( Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.); Trevion Williams (Purdue/Chicago, Ill.); Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame H.S./Sherman Oaks, Calif.); and Samuell Williamson ( Rockwall H.S./ Rockwall , Texas). Jared Butler (Baylor University/Reserve, La.) was also selected a finalist but was unable to participate.
The finalists will continue training twice a day in Colorado Springs, and the final, 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team will be announced prior to the team’s June 24 departure for Greece, and the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup that will take place June 29-July 7.
The finalists selections were made by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.
” I am not overstating things if I say this was an incredibly difficult selection process, ” said Matt Painter, USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee chair and Purdue University head coach. ” Each of the 31 players involved in this training camp performed at a high level and brought some tangible skill strengths to the training camp for the committee to consider.
” We feel like our group of finalists offers coach Weber and his staff outstanding athleticism and versatility, and the talent to become a very good defensive team. ”
The USA U19 squad is being led by head coach Bruce Weber (Kansas State), and assistant coaches Mike Hopkins (Washington) and LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central).
The USA U19 training roster features two-time USA Basketball gold medalists Barnes, Green and Suggs , while Mobley and Robinson-Earl won one gold medal in international play. Additionally, Robinson-Earl helped USA Basketball to a win over the World Select Team in the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit on April 12.
Chaired by Painter, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee also consists of Shane Battier (Athlete Representative), Tony Bennett (NCAA), Ed Cooley (NCAA) and Sean Miller (NCAA).