COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Duke men's basketball signee Rasheed Sulaimon, a member of the Blue Devils' incoming freshman class, made the cut as one of 14 finalists for the USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team, USA Basketball announced on Thursday.
Sulaimon was one of 23 players invited to try out for the U18 National Team and made the first cut after five days of training sessions. Sulaimon and the other 13 remaining finalists will continue to train through June 11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in hopes of making the 12-man 2012 USA Men's U18 National Team. USA Basketball will announce the official roster prior to the team's June 12 departure for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will be played June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
"This trials has been very difficult," stated USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee chair Jim Boeheim. "You had 23 guys who all are really good players, there wasn't a bad player here. To get down to 12 is going to be difficult but I think we're going to end up with a really good athletic team that is going to be very well coached. I think we've got an unbelievable coaching staff. I think we've got guys that have won, been winners, won state championships, and I think they'll represent USA Basketball extremely well in this tournament."
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.
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.); Joel James (Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.); Jake Layman (King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass.); Austin Nichols (Briarcrest H.S./Eads, Tenn.); 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 Billy Donovan (University of Florida) serving as head coach, with Mark Few (Gonzaga University) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) as assistant coaches.