NORMAN, Okla. With training camp for the USA Basketball Mens Junior World Championship Team slated to open June 24 in Dallas, USA Basketball announced today that five players, including University of Oklahoma guard DeAngelo Alexander, have been added to the junior team finalists roster, and that three previously announced finalists - James Augustine (Illinois), Al Jefferson (Prentiss [Miss.] High School) and Kennedy Winston (Alabama) - have withdrawn from consideration. Alexanders participation in the 2003 USA Basketball Mens National Team Trials May 30-June 1 in Colorado Springs, Colo., was limited due to a sprained ankle.
Joining Alexander as additions to the finalists roster are 6-9 Michigan freshman center Graham Brown, 6-10 high school junior David Burgess, 6-10 Oregon signee Mitch Platt, and 6-3 prep All-American guard and Arizona signee Mustafa Shakur.
The official 12-member USA junior team will be finalized during the teams June 24-July 6 training camp which will be held in Dallas. In preparation for the FIBA Junior World Championship, the U.S. squad will participate in the 2003 Global Games that are being conducted in Dallas. Featuring 10 teams, the USA will play five games between June 30-July 5.
Alexander averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 20.1 minutes per game last season. The 6-4, 215-pounder shot .350 from three-point range and .728 from the free throw line. Alexander, who hails from Midwest City, Okla., was named to the Big 12 All-Reserve Team for his efforts.
The USA Junior squad will compete July 10-20 in the 2003 FIBA Mens Junior World Championship Tournament that was recently moved from Malaysia to Thessaloniki, Greece. Featuring 16 junior national teams that qualified last summer, the teams have been placed into four groups of four for preliminary round robin play. The top two teams from each group will advance to the medal quarterfinals, while the remainder of the field will compete for 9th - 16th place. The USA has been placed in Group C, joining China, Nigeria and Slovenia.
Eligibility for the 2003 USA Basketball Mens Junior World Championship Team is limited to any male athlete who is a U.S. citizen and 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1984). The USA team finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Mens Collegiate Committee.
Finalists for the 2003 USA Basketball Mens Junior World Championship Team are: Mohamed Abukar (Rancho Bernardo [Calif.] H.S.); Maurice Ager (Michigan State); Alexander; Brandon Bowman (Georgetown); Daniel Brown (Illinois); Graham Brown; Burgess; Paul Davis (Michigan State); Ryan Hollins (UCLA); Daniel Horton (Michigan); Brian Johnson (Bishop OConnell [Va.] H.S.); Jonathan Modica (Arkansas); Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia); Platt; J.J. Redick (Duke); Shakur; C.J. Watson (Tennessee) and Deron Williams (Illinois).
University of Oregon head coach Ernie Kent, who served as head coach of the USA junior qualifying team last summer, will again be head mentor of the 2003 USA junior squad, and will be assisted by Dennis Felton of the University of Georgia and Ray Harper of Kentucky Wesleyan College.