2015 Syracuse Orange commit Malachi Richardson has accepted an invitation to compete in training camp to make the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship USA Team. The tournament is held in late June at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Richardson will be one of 21 top basketball athletes in his class competing to make the squad. The final team will be cut down to 12 players. Jim Boeheim was the chair on the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee who issued the invitations to players. Richardson should get a favorable shot to the make the team with Boeheim so highly involved.
Billy Donovon will be coaching the team, as he has done in the past, with quite a bit of success. Ed Cooley and Sean Miller will also be joining him as assistant coaches on the bench.
In addition to the USA team, the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. The top four finishing teams will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
This is not the first time we have seen Orange players on this type of circuit. Jerami Grant was selected to compete in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team last year but could not play due to sickness at the time. Experience outside of the NCAA has definitely helped the Orange. It was not too long ago when Tyler Ennis was handed the starting role at PG and benefited heavily from playing in Canada over last summer.
Although Richardson still has to play his senior season, this type of competition would help out his game tremendously. Only the best players in his class are selected for this kind of circuit. He would be playing with top talent and could learn intangibles he might not get at Syracuse. Also trying out for the team is Stanley Johnson, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, who all have two gold medals each for previous tournaments with USA basketball. Richardson participated in the USA Developmental National Team just two years ago.
Because many prep school stars come into college as the best player on their team and do not have the opportunity to play with or against the best talent in the nation for their age group, this is an opportunity Richardson should seize given its many benefits to players in the past.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell