Three Pac-10 Players Named To USA Basketball U19 Men's World Championship Team Trials Roster
May 28, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Headlined by four returning USA Basketball veterans, including the MVP of the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, 17 of the nation's most talented 19-and-younger basketball players have been selected to attend the 2009 USA U19 National Team Trials, held June 16-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Three players from the Pac-10 Conference will compete for a spot on the 12-man roster.
UCLA's Drew Gordon and Washington State's Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto will represent the Conference at the workouts. WSU is the only school to get multiple student-athletes invited to the trials.
The athletes, born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, will compete for one of 12 roster spots on the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team. The trials invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Jim Boeheim (head coach, Syracuse University).
Both Casto and Thompson earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors this past season, while Thompson was also named to the All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team by CollegeHoops.net. A 6-6 guard, Thompson ranked fifth in the Pac-10 and led all conference freshmen in 3-point field goals made (68), 10th overall and second among freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage (.412) and 10th overall and third among freshmen in blocked shots (0.6 bpg). Thompson holds the WSU freshman single-game record for 3-pointers made after knocking down 8-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc at Arizona State Jan. 29.
A 6-8 forward, Casto led all Pac-10 freshmen and ranked fourth overall with 1.2 blocks per game. He is tied with Thompson for second-most games played by a freshman after playing all 33 games as a rookie. Casto holds the WSU freshman blocks record after swatting 39 shots in 2008-09. He also ranks second in blocks average (1.2 bpg), fifth in rebounds (131) and seventh for rebound average (4.0 rpg). Casto is also tied for the third-best single game performance by a WSU freshman after blocking four shots against Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 15, 2008).
Following the trials, the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee is expected to announce finalists for the 12-member USA U19 World Championship Team roster. Training camp for the selected finalists will begin June 19, with the 12-member USA roster being announced prior to the teams' departure for New Zealand on June 25.
Kemba Walker (Connecticut / New York, N.Y), who was named MVP of the 2008 FIBA Americas Championship that qualified the U.S. for this year's World Championship, will return in hopes of making his second USA roster. Walker averaged 13.4 ppg., 5.0 apg., and 4.6 rpg. while leading the USA to a silver medal in the 2008 FIBA Americas.
In addition to Walker, Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest / Norcross, Ga.), Dominic Cheek (Villanova / Jersey City, N.J.),and Gordon (UCLA / San Jose, Calif.) have all previously represented the USA. Cheek was a teammate of Walker in the 2008 FIBA Americas, while Aminu and Gordon played together on the 2007 Youth Developmental Festival Red Team that finished 5-0 and captured the gold medal and the 2008 USA Junior Select Team that defeated the World Select Team 98-78 in the 2008 Nike Hoop Summit.
Rounding out the 2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials roster are newcomers: Kenny Boynton (Florida / Pompano Beach, Fla.), Darryl Bryant (West Virginia / Brooklyn, N.Y.), Seth Curry (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.), Gordon Hayward (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.), Darius Miller (Kentucky / Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP / Memphis, Tenn.), Ralph Sampson III (Minnesota / Duluth, Ga.), John Shurna (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.) and Terrico White (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.).
If selected, Casto and Thompson would be the second WSU duo in three years to represent the U.S. in International competition, as both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were members of the 2007 USA Pan American Team.