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WKU signee Mitchell Robinson finalist for USA U19 team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Col. — Western Kentucky University men’s basketball signee Mitchell Robinson has been picked as a finalist for the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team.

Following four training sessions that featured 27 of the nation’s top 19-and-under male basketball players June 18-20 at
the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 18
finalists were announced Tuesday.

WKU men’s basketball signee Mitchell Robinson is pictured in action during tryouts for the USA U19 World Cup team. (Photo courtesy of USA Basketball)

Named as finalists for the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team were: Bol Bol (Mater Dei
H.S./Santa Ana, Calif.); Jordan Brown (Woodcreek H.S./Roseville, Calif.);Hamidou
Diallo (Kentucky/Queens, NY); Carsen Edwards (Purdue/Atascocita, Texas); Kevin
Huerter (Maryland/Clifton Park, N.Y.); Louis King (Hudson Catholic H.S./Columbus,
N.J.); Kevin Knox II (Tampa Catholic H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Romeo Langford (New Albany
H.S./New Albany, Ind.); Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic H.S/San Diego, Calif.);
Chuma Okeke (Westlake H.S./Atlanta, Ga.); Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech/Snellville,
Ga.); Payton Pritchard (Oregon/West Linn, Ore.); Immanuel Quickly (John Carroll
School/Bel Air, Md.); Cameron Reddish (Westtown School/Norristown, Pa.); Mitchell
Robinson (Chalmette H.S./New Orleans, La.); Quinton Rose (Temple/Rochester, N.Y.);
PJ Washington (Findlay Prep/Las Vegas, Nev.); and Austin Wiley (Auburn/Hoover,
Ala.).

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari will lead the USA U19 World Cup Team
with the assistance of Tad Boyle from the University of Colorado and Danny Manning
from Wake Forest University.

“I felt really good until this morning,” said USA U19 mentor Calipari. “There was
anxiety this morning for me because you know you’re going to disappoint some of
these kids. What I hope is that the games they played here against really good
players helped them. I also told them after, we only had four sessions to figure you
guys out. This committee went through every name, talked about every kid, and came
up with a list. I told these kids, we may be wrong, please prove us wrong, use this
as fuel if you don’t make the team, and I’ll be watching everybody. But, I hope you
prove us wrong. And for the guys that make it, now it’s on. Now the real stuff
begins. I haven’t really coached yet, I’ve just kind of watched you.

“I think we’ve got a good group of finalists. We’re pretty long and athletic. It
looks like we’re going to be somewhat positionless and we’re going to have some 6-8
guys that can play point guard, bring it up and make plays. We’re young, there is a
group of six rising (high school) seniors that now, in this setting, it’s a little
different. Now you’ve got some cagey veterans that have gone through a college
season and played, some of them started for their teams or were significant players,
and you’re a high school rising senior playing against that kid, now you see where
you are as a player.

“I told some kids in our meeting (after naming the finalists) that if you want make
this team you’re going to have rebound, and show us you’re going to rebound; if
you’re going to make this you’re going to have pass the ball, you can’t be trying to
shoot every ball. You’re responsible for you. I went around the room, not every
guy, but I wanted to let them know I’m going to keep it real. I’m going to be real
about what we have to do. The reason is we don’t have time, we have three practices
and then we’ve got to make another cut and get it to 12,” added Calipari.

The selected finalists will remain in Colorado Springs and will train twice a day
through June 25. The 12-member team is expected to be announced June 22.

As the 2013 and 2015 FIBA U19 World Champion, the United States will look for a
third-consecutive gold medal at the July 1-9 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men in Cairo,
Egypt.
Selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee.
Athletes eligible for this team must be 19 years old or younger (born on or after
Jan. 1, 1998) and U.S. citizens.

Included among the 18 finalists are seven gold medalists from this past summer, and
a total of nine athletes that boast USA Basketball experience. Returning from the
gold medalist 2016 USA U18 National Team are Diallo, Huerter and Washington, while
Brown, Knox, Quickley and Wiley return from the gold medal-winning 2016 USA U17
World Championship Team. Brown and Knox also collected gold medals as members of the
2015 USA U16 National Team.

Additionally, Knox helped the USA post a win in the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit, while
Pritchard aided the USA to a win in the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit, and Pritchard and
Washington were members of the 2015 USA Men’s 3×3 U18 World Championship Team.

Six athletes recently completed their freshman season in college and Okogie (ACC)
and Rose (American) were named to their respective all-freshman teams. Diallo
redshirted this past season for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Of the 11 high school athletes, five are rising college freshmen and six, Brown,
Bol, Langford, King, Reddish and Quickley are rising high school seniors.

Named as Naismith All-Americans were: Jordan Brown (honorable mention), Knox (second
team), Langford (third team), McCoy (honorable mention), Reddish (honorable mention)
and Robinson (honorable mention), while the MaxPreps All-American Teams lists
featured Brown (second team), Knox (second team), Langford (fourth team), Okeke
(third team), Robinson (honorable mention) and Washington (third team).

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