USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Training Camp/Tournament Opens
Colorado Springs, Colo. • July 30, 2012
The 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Training Camp/Tournament began on Sunday as 11 men’s teams gathered at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tournament begins on Monday, and on Tuesday, the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team men’s and women’s teams will be announced.
The training camp portion was held on Sunday night as the teams in attendance were put through drills to get used to the fast-paced, half-court setting of 3x3 basketball, as well as become familiar with FIBA’s rules for the game. USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee member Don Showalter, head coach at Iowa City H.S. (Iowa), ran the camp for the 40-plus players in attendance.
“The 3x3 is really brand new to all of us, coaches as well as players from a FIBA standpoint. Tonight, we wanted to see skill level and what their skill level was like and how it could be implemented into a 3x3 setting,” said Showalter.
Most of the 11 men’s teams in attendance were invited after competing in various 3x3 events such as Hoop It Up tournaments. One local team was invited from the Eastside Athletics organization in Colorado Springs. The 11 teams will begin round-robin pool play on Monday and conclude the tournament on Tuesday. A skills competition featuring a 3-point shootout, obstacle challenge and hot shot shooting competition will open the event on Monday.
“I think it will be real competitive; the 12-second shot clock and the rules make it real competitive,” Showalter said of the level of competition he expects in the tournament. “It’s really a fast-paced game, some of the players are going to be a little lost because of the rules and other players will thrive because of it, so it should be an interesting tournament.”
Earlier this summer, Showalter led the USA U17 National Team to an 8-0 record and gold medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship For Men in Kaunas, Lithuania. Showalter has also has led the USA to gold at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Joining Showalter on the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee is USA Basketball 3x3 Program Director Travis Johnson. A men’s team, though not necessarily the tournament’s winning team, will be chosen as the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team by the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee following the conclusion of the tournament.
Also arriving on Sunday were members of the USA Basketball U17 and U18 women’s teams Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./Sandersville, Ga.), Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas). The foursome practiced on Sunday night and is expected to be officially announced as the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 Women’s National Team on Tuesday by the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee.
DeShields, McCall and Turner will remain in Colorado Springs to participate in training camp for the USA Women’s U17 National Team (August 1-8), and Gray to participate in training camp for the U18 National Team (August 3-11).
DeShields has won two gold medals with USA Basketball, as a member of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship Team and 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship Team. McCall won gold for the USA at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The members of the men’s and women’s 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Teams will represent the U.S. at the inaugural FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship played September 27 – 30 in Seville, Spain. Prior to departing for Seville, the men’s and women’s teams will reconvene at the USOTC for a training camp from Sept. 23 – 26. Athletes eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.