COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Incoming men's basketball freshman Rasheed Sulaimon was selected as one of 12 members to the USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team, USA Basketball announced on Saturday.
Sulaimon was one of 23 players originally invited to try out for the U18 National Team and officially earned a spot on the squad Saturday night after more than a week of training at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He will now compete with the USA U18 National Team during the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
Sulaimon is a native of Houston, Texas, and a product of
Strake Jesuit College Prep. He participated in the McDonald's All-American game
and the Jordan Brand Classic since the close of his senior season, winning the
three-point shootout at the McDonald's game and helping guide the West to a
106-102 win over the East. Sulaimon knocked down four three-point field goals
and finished with 18 points in the game. He went 4-of-8 from three-point
distance and made several key plays over the final four minutes of play to seal
the victory for the West.
At the Jordan Brand Classic, Sulaimon had 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in a 99-95 win for the West. He was 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, in 19 minutes of action.
"I think we've got some balance, we've got some versatility, we can move guys to some different positions," said USA U18 head coach Billy Donovan. "This has been a group that has picked up things pretty well so far, so I'm excited about it. "The thing I've been most impressed with since we started is just their attitudes. It seems like we've got really good chemistry, they get along real well, they seem to be a cohesive group.
"I think we have to play up tempo; we have to offensive rebound; and I think the other thing for our team that we have to get better at is taking care of the basketball. I think when you've got a lot of players that are thrown together and are now starting to play, they don't really know each other.
"But I definitely think rebounding and transition are going to be important keys, and I also think defensively how well we can guard the 3-point line," added Donovan.
The remaining 13 finalists for the USA Men's U18 National Team include Nathaniel Britt, II (Gonzaga H.S., D.C./Upper Marlboro, Md.); Sam Dekker (Sheboygan Lutheran H.S./Sheboygan, Wis.); Shaq Goodwin (Southwest DeKalb H.S./Decatur, Ga.); Jerami Grant (DeMatha Catholic/Bowie, Md.); Montrezl Harrell (Hargrave Military Academy/Tarboro, N.C.); Jake Layman (King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass.); Rodney Purvis (Upper Room Christian/Raleigh, N.C.); Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas); James Robinson (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Mitchellville, Md.); Marcus Smart (Marcus H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) and Jarnell Stokes (Memphis, Tenn.).
The 2012 USA U18 National Team is led by a trio of experienced and successful college coaches, including Donovan (University of Florida) serving as head coach, with Mark Few (Gonzaga University) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) as assistant coaches.