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May 31, 2007

Beasley among invitees for USA Basketball

Featuring nine players possessing prior USA Basketball experience, and seven who collected conference honors in 2006-07, 20 of the nation's top basketball players 19 years old and younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) have accepted invitations to participate in the June 28-30 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials that will be held at the Dallas Mavericks' practice facility. Among those invited to participate in the trials is Kansas State signee Michael Beasley.

The Trials will be used to select the finalists for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team that will look to return home with gold from the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship that are being held in July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia. Athlete selections for the Trials were made by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Syracuse University (N.Y.) head coach Jim Boeheim.

Accepting invitations to participate in the 2007 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team Trials were: Lavoy Allen (Pennsbury H.S., Pa./ Morrisville, Pa.); Darrell Arthur (Kansas / Dallas, Texas); Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep, Mass./ Frederick, Md.); Patrick Beverly (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.): Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Dwayne Collins (Miami / Miami, Fla.); Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.); Tyreke Evans (Aston American Christian, Pa. / Aston, Pa.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S. / San Jose, Calif.); Donte Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.); James Hickson (Wheeler H.S., Ga. / Marietta, Ga.); Damian Hollis (George Washington / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. / Humble, Texas); David Lighty (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio); Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio); Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.); Corey Stokes (St. Benedict's H.S. / Newark, N.J.); Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.); and Brad Wanamaker (Roman Catholic H.S. / Philadelphia, Pa.).

DePaul University (Ill.) head coach Jerry Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, has been selected to lead the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University's (D.C.) Karl Hobbs will serve as assistant coaches.

Trials for the USA U19 World Championship Team will be held June 28-30 at the Dallas Mavericks' practice facility in AmericanAirlines Arena. The first trials session will be held on June 28, 5-7 p.m. (all times local, CDT). Two trials sessions (10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.) will be held on June 29 and 30. The selected USA team finalists will remain for the USA's July 1-7 training camp, which will also see the USA compete in the 2007 Global Games in Dallas.

Nine of the 20 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, including three members of the 2006 USA U18 National Team that finished 4-0, captured gold, and qualified the United States for the 2007 U19 World Championship. Beasley (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); Flynn (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); and Greene (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team) were all members of the U18 National team and were most recently members of the victorious 2007 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 100-80 in the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit.

Gordon, Hickson and Porter all participated in the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials and were named finalists, while Arthur (2005 Youth Development Festival White Team), Collins (2005 Youth Development Festival Blue Team), and Stokes (2005 Youth Development Festival Blue Team) are alumni of USA Basketball's Youth Development Festival.

Of the 20 players accepting Trials invitations, 12 completed their collegiate freshman season in 2006-07, six completed their high school senior campaign on 2007, while two will be high school seniors in 2007-08.

Seven players earned honors from their respective conferences. Beverly was selected the SEC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year and Curry was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. Also, Arthur (Big 12), Bouldin (West Coast), Beverley (SEC), Hollis (Atlantic 10), Morgan (Big Ten), and Porter (Pac-10) were named to their all-freshman teams.

Nine conferences have players involved in the trials, with the Big East Conference featuring four invitees, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Big 12 have three apiece, the Atlantic 10 Conference, Big Ten Conference and , Pacific-10 Conference each have two, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Southern Conference and West Coast Conference all have one player participating in the trials.

Eighteen universities feature players in the trials, with Syracuse boasting of a pair, while Arkansas, Davidson, George Washington, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kansas State, Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Temple, Texas A&M, UCLA and Villanova have one each.

Of the eight invitees who played at the high school level in 2006-07, two were selected for USA Today's All-USA Boys Team and six earned Parade Magazine All-America recognition. Beasley and Greene were named All-USA second team by USA Today, while Parade tagged Greene first team, Flynn, Hickson, and Stokes second team honorees, Jordan collected third team honors and Evans was named fourth team.

The U.S. earned its 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship berth by claiming gold at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The 2007 USA squad will be comprised of males 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) who are citizens of the United States.

The official 12-member USA U19 World Championship team will compete in the July 12-22 FIBA U19 World Championship in Novi Sad, Serbia. The draw for the tournament was held on Feb. 27, and the United States was placed in Group B for preliminary round action along with China (FIBA Asia gold medalist), Mali (FIBA Africa silver medalist) and host Serbia (FIBA Europe fifth place finisher).

In addition to the USA's pool, included among the 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments are Brazil (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), France (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Lebanon (FIBA Asia bronze medalist) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver medalist) in Group A; Group C consists of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Canada (FIBA Americas fourth place finisher), Nigeria (FIBA Africa gold medalist) and Turkey (FIBA Europe fourth place finisher); while Group D includes Argentina (FIBA Americas silver medalist), Puerto Rico (FIBA Americas fifth place finisher), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver medalist) and Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist).

The USA will open play against Mali on July 12 at 6 p.m. (All times listed are local times. Novi Sad, Serbia, is six hours ahead of EDT), followed by China on July 13 at 8:30 p.m,. and will cap preliminary play against host Serbia on July 14 at 6 p.m. The top three teams from each of the four preliminary round groups advance to the July 16-18 second round. The top three teams from Groups A and B will compete in round-robin play in second round Group E; while the top three teams from Groups C and D will play each other in Group F. The preliminary round results carry over to the second round standings, and teams will only face advancing squads from the opposite group in second round action. Quarterfinals will be contested on July 20, the semifinals on July 21 and the gold medal tilt is slated for July 22.


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