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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

USA Basketball Names 6 From SoCal
To US Junior National Trials--(May 22, 2002)

usab_logo2.gif (3539 bytes) Each year, USA Basketball, the governing body for national and international competition in the sport in the United States, names a junior national team.   But before the final team is selected, the Collegiate Committee runs a "trials" or tryout session, and just getting invited to that session is a major accomplishment and a top distinction.  The players who are ultimately selected from the group of invited tryout participants will eventually compete July 24-28 in the 2002 COPABA (Pan Am) Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela, and will try to earn one of the four spots reserved for "American Zone" players at next year's 2003 FIBA Junior World Championship which will be held in Malaysia.

Among the 32 players who accepted invitations were six from SoCal, including:

Mohamed Abukar from Rancho Bernardo in Escondido who recently committed to Georgia; 
Hassan Adams, an Arizona-signee and soon-to-be Westchester grad;
Trevor Ariza, a current junior, also from Westchester; 
Ekene Ibekwe from Carson;
Sean Phaler from Villa Park; and
Antione Wright, a SoCal native, originally from San Bernardino,  but who chose to attend a prep school in the east, Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachussetts.

There are plenty of other familiar names on the list of accepted invitees, and if even half of the current crop of rising seniors (i.e., current high school juniors) makes the team and attends this international competition during the middle of the summer NCAA open-evaluation period, there will be some very depleted summer traveling squads....but that would probably be just fine with those who will be selected for the honor of  competing for a national team.

You can read more about the junior national men's team,  the selection process, and USA Basketball in general at the organization's official website.  Here's the complete press release, issued a couple of days ago (actually, May 20)  with the complete list of invitees. 

2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Trials
To Feature 33 Of The Nation's Top 18-Year-Old And Younger Hoopsters

Nation's Top Junior Players To Vie For Positions On USA Basketball Squad

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 20, 2002) -- Highlighted by 13 high school seniors who were ranked among All-Star Sports Top 40 players, 33 of the top men's basketball players 18-years-old or younger have accepted invitations to participate in 2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Trials, USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee announced today. The Collegiate Committee, chaired by Terry Holland the University of Virginia athletic director emeritus, will also select the finalists for the 2002 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Qualifying Team following the three-day Trials which will be held May 31-June 2 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The first Trials session will be held on Friday, May 31 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. (All times are MDT), with two sessions, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m., scheduled for Saturday, June 1, and one final practice session to be conducted 8:30-10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 2. Eligible players must be U.S. citizens and born on or after January 1, 1984.

The Trials will be used to select finalists for the 2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team. The official 12-member USA junior team, which will be finalized during the team's July 14-22 training camp which will be held at a site to be determined, will compete July 24-28 in the 2002 COPABA (Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations) Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament that is being held at Isla de Margarita, Venezuela. Featuring eight teams from North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean, the United States will attempt to earn one of the Americas Zone's four qualifying spots for next year's 2003 FIBA Junior World Championship that will be held in Malaysia (city and dates TBD).

University of Oregon mentor Ernie Kent will serve as head coach of the 2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, and will be assisted by Bob McKillop of Davidson College (N.C.) and Gary Waters of Rutgers University (N.J.).

The 32 invitees accepting their invitation were: Mohamed Abukar (Rancho Bernardo / Escondido, Calif.); Hassan Adams (Westchester / Los Angeles, Calif.); DeAngelo Alexander (Midwest City / Midwest City, Okla.); Shagari Alleyne (Rice / New York, N.Y.); Carmello Anthony (Oak Hill Academy / Baltimore, Md.); Ryan Appleby (Stanwood / Stanwood, Wash.); Trevor Ariza (Westchester / Los Angeles, Calif.); Christopher Bosh (Lincoln / Lancaster, Texas); Daniel Brown (Proviso East / Maywood, Ill.); Shannon Brown (Proviso East / Maywood, Ill.); Brad Buckman (Westlake / Austin, Texas); Derrick Byars (Ridgeway / Memphis, Tenn.); John Gilchrist (Salem / Virginia Beach, Va.); Matt Gorman (Watertown / Watertown, N.Y.); Dion Harris( Detroit Redford / Detroit, Mich.); Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill / Cedar Hill, Texas); Kris Humphries (Hopkins / Chaska, Minn.); Ekene Ibekwe (Carson / Carson, Calif.); Andre Iguodala (Lanphier / Springfield, Ill.); Brian Johnson (Bishop O'Connell / Glenasden, Va.); Marquise Kately (Riordan / San Francisco, Calif.); Tim Morris (Whitefield Academy / Mableton, Ga.); Demetris Nichols (St. Andrews / Barrington, R.I.); David Padgett (Reno / Reno, Nev.); Bobby Perry (Hillside / Durham, N.C.); Sean Phaler (Villa Park / Anaheim Park, Calif.); Terrence Roberts (St. Anthony / Jersey City, N.J.); Chris Rodgers (Wilson / Portland, Ore.); Sebastian Telfair (Abraham Lincoln / Brooklyn, N.Y.); Darryl Watkins (Paterson Catholic / Patterson, N.J.); Deron Williams (The Colony / The Colony, Texas); Antione Wright (Lawrence Academy / Groton, Mass.) and Bracey Wright (The Colony / Carrollton, Texas).

Of the 33 athletes who are expected to take part in the 2002 Trials, eight participated in the 2001 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival. Past USA Basketball Youth Development participants include Adams; Alexander; Anthony; Gilchrist; Gorman; Rodgers; Williams and Bracey Wright.

The Trials invitees features 10 players who were named to one of Parade Magazine's four All-America Teams and four players who earned All-America honors from USA Today. The list also includes seven seniors who played in the 2002 McDonald's High School All-American Game.

The Trials include 16 players who recently completed their senior high school seasons, 15 who concluded their junior year and two who were sophomores in 2001-02. Of the 16 players who were seniors in 2001-02, 15 have signed with major NCAA Division basketball programs.

The USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, in addition to chair Holland, consists of: NCAA appointees Jim Boeheim (head coach, Syracuse University, N.Y.); Rob Evans (head coach, Arizona State University); Jim O'Brien (head coach, Ohio State University) and Tubby Smith (head coach, University of Kentucky); NABC appointee Oliver Purnell (head coach, University of Dayton, Ohio); NAIA appointee Ralph Turner (head coach, Union University, Tenn.); NJCAA appointee Dan Sparks (head coach, Vincennes University, Ind.), and athlete representatives Steve Wojciechowski (1995 Junior World Championship team / assistant coach, Duke University, N.C.) and A.J. Wynder (1995 Pan American Games team / head coach, Nassau Community College, N.Y.).

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