USA Basketball announced Monday night that Arizona men’s basketball signee Aaron Gordon has made the 12-man roster for the U19 World Championship team.
The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship will be held June 24-July 6 in Prague, Czech Republic. USA U19 Team members must be 19 or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1994) and a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this team.
Gordon, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., was a consensus five-star recruit who signed a Letter of Intent with Arizona in the spring.
“Getting down to 12 is the real hard part, because in a lot of respects, we easy could have kept 14-15,” said USA head coach Billy Donovan, who led the 2012 USA U18 Team to a 5-0 record, a FIBA Americas U18 gold medal and a qualifying berth for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
“There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team,” Donavan said. “Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style. From an execution standpoint we’ve got to get better there, a lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that’s probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism.
“These kids being here since Friday, obviously there’s been a physical toll on them, but I don’t think you can underestimate the mental toll of these kids trying so hard to make the team. Here it is today and they have gone through Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, four pretty difficult days against really difficult competition, and the uncertainty of, ‘Am I playing well enough? Am I going to make the team or not make the team?’ That stress, that pressure, I think that adds to their fatigue.
“So I think getting that behind us now and going forward, we can get our guys focused on being the best team. I think the focus up to this point of time by them has been ‘make the team, make the team, make the team,’ and we’ve got to now move it towards trying to win.”
The other 11 players on the roster are: Michael Frazier (Florida/Tampa, Fla.); Jerami Grant (Syracuse/Bowie, Md.); Montrezl Harrell (Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette/Gretna, La.); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State/Flower Mound, Texas); Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke/Houston, Texas); Mike Tobey (Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.); Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.); and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas).