Top 18 And Under Athletes Slated To Contend For 2006 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Slots

USA U18 Trials To Feature 22 Hopefuls June 16-18 In San Antonio, Texas

May 25, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 25, 2006) - Featuring five players boasting of prior USA Basketball experiences, 22 of the nation's top 18-year-old and under (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) basketball players have accepted invitations to participate in the June 16-18 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Trials in San Antonio, Texas. The Trials will be used to select the finalists for the USA Basketball U18 squad that will look to capture gold at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men that is being hosted by USA Basketball and the San Antonio Sports Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, June 28-July 2. 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 USA U18 Trials were: Cole Aldrich (Bloomington Jefferson H.S., Minn./Kansas); Chris Allen (Meadowcreek H.S., Ga./Michigan State); Jerryd Bayless (St. Mary's H.S., Ariz./Arizona); Michael Beasley (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Charlotte); Joevan Catron (Thornton Township H.S., Ill./Oregon); Johnny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S., N.Y./Syracuse); Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S., Calif./Undecided); Donte Greene (Towson Catholic H.S, Md./Syracuse); Blake Griffin (Oklahoma Christian/Oklahoma); Spencer Hawes (Seattle Prep, Wash./ Washington); James Hickson (Southwest Atlanta Christian, Ga. /Undecided); Gary Johnson (Aldine H.S., Texas /Undecided); Taylor King (Mater Dei H.S., Calif./Duke); Gani Lawal (Norcross H.S., Ga./Georgia Tech); Tajuan Porter (Renaissance H.S., Mich./Oregon); Reggie Redding (St. Joseph Prep H.S., Pa./ Villanova); Stanley Robinson (Huffman H.S., Ala./Connecticut); Kyle Singler (South Medford H.S., Ore./Undecided); Nolan Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Duke); DaJuan Summers (McDonogh School, Md./Georgetown); Lance Thomas (St. Benedict's H.S., N.J./Undecided); Julian Vaughn (Reston South Lakes H.S., Va./Undecided).

University of Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar has been named to lead the USA's 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men Team, while The Georgia Institute of Technolgy's head mentor Paul Hewitt and DePaul University's (Ill.) head coach Jerry Wainwright will serve as assistant coaches.

Five of the 22 athletes boast of prior USA Basketball experience. Hawes was a member of the 2006 USA Basketball's Junior National Select Team and recorded eight points and three rebounds in the USA's 109-91 win over the World Select Team on April 8 in the 9th Annual Nike Hoop Summit in Memphis, Tenn. Additionally, Robinson, Singler, Stokes and Thomas were all participants on USA teams in the 2005 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival held in San Diego, Calif. Singler helped lead the White Team to a gold medal at the Youth Development Festival and averaged 14.0 ppg., 3.4 rpg., while shooting 60.0 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from 3-point, Robinson finished the Festival averaging 9.0 ppg., a Red team leading 5.8 rpg. and 2.2 spg., Blue team members Thomas posted 9.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg. and 1.8 spg., and Corey Stokes recorded 4.8 ppg. and 4.0 rpg.

The 22 Trials hopefuls include seven who are in the class of 2006, 14 are members of the 2007 class, and one is in the class of 2008. ranked four of the seniors among its top 27 players. Hawes listed No. 6, Robinson placed No. 14, Summers was No. 23 and Thomas No. 27, while Redding ranked No. 135. Among the ranked players for the 2007 Class, Beasley lists No. 4, Singler is No. 6, Bayless listed No. 9, Hickson is No. 14, Greene is No. 15, Aldrich is No. 16, Griffin ranked No. 18, Vaughn is No. 19, Johnson is No. 24, Smith is No. 25, Lawal ranked No. 32, and King was listed as No. 40.

Hawes was named to the five-member 2006 USA Today All-USA Prep Basketball First Team, while Beasley was named third team for a second consecutive year. Aldrich, Bayless, Johnson, King, Singler and Smith were included in USA Today's Class of 2007 list of honorees.

Included on the 2006 Parade All-America High School Boys Basketball Teams were Hawes as a first team pick, Beasley, Robinson, Singler and Thomas earned second team honors, while Bayless collected fourth team honors.

Trials invitees were also well represented on the 2005-06 Gatorade Boys Basketball State Players of the Year listing with Robinson for the state of Alabama; Bayless for Arizona, Summers for Maryland and Hawes listed for Washington winning the prestigious honor. Of the seven players slated to finish their high school careers in 2005-06, all seven have signed with prominent NCAA Division I institutions. Catron and Porter have both been signed by Oregon, Hawes will play for Washington, Redding was inked by Villanova, Robinson signed with Connecticut, Summers will play at Georgetown, and Thomas signed to play at Duke.

Ten of the remaining 15 players have orally committed to NCAA Division I programs. Aldrich with Kansas; Allen with Michigan State; Bayless with Arizona; Beasley with Charlotte; Flynn and Greene with Syracuse; Griffin with Oklahoma; King and Smith with Duke; and Lawal with Georgia Tech.

Related Stories