UW’s Dekker makes U18 men’s national team

Incoming University of Wisconsin basketball player Sam Dekker has made the final cut for the United States U18 men’s national team.

Dekker survived the cutdown from 24 players to 12, which was announced Saturday night following the team’s ninth practice in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U18 team will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship, held June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil. The team departs Tuesday for the tournament.

The list of teammates Dekker will be playing with reads like a “who’s who” for the future of college basketball. Teammates for the U18 championship will be: point guard Nate Britt (North Carolina), guard Rodney Purvis (North Carolina State), guard Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke), forward Shaq Goodwin (Memphis), forward Jerami Grant (Syracuse), forward Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), forward Jake Layman (Maryland), forward Julius Randle (undecided), point guard James Robinson (Pittsburgh), forward Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and forward Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee).

Players eligible for the competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.

Dekker, of Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School, was named Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin last season after averaging 32.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward is ranked as the No. 15 player in the class of 2012 and the fourth-best small forward, according to Scout.com.

The 2012 USA U18 national team is led by head coach Billy Donovan (Florida), as well as assistants Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth).


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