Smart comes to the U19 training camp having been selected in 2012-13 Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Freshman of the Year, along with the Big 12 Conference Player and Freshman of the Year. He is the top returning scorer in the conference for 2013-14.
Felix finished last year tied (with Smart) for fifth overall in total assists with 139. Felix also had 6.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and leads all Longhorn returnees with a .789 shooting percentage from the free throw line. He also grabbed 34 steals in 2012-13.
“We have a really impressive group of talented players and a large number of the players have USA Basketball and college experience. Selecting our 12-man U19 team will be extremely difficult, but the committee is excited and confident that we will be able to field another strong USA team,” said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach and chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee. “The FIBA U19 World Championship might be from top to bottom the most competitive competition FIBA conducts. Any of the teams that are competing have a real chance to win the U19 gold medal as has been shown by six different countries winning the title over the last six U19 World Championships.”
The 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team will be led by a trio of experienced and successful college coaches, including Billy Donovan (University of Florida) as head coach, with Tony Bennett (University of Virginia) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) as assistant coaches.
The USA U19 training camp will be used to select the 12-member USA team that will compete in the FIBA U19 World Championship. The U19 training camp will begin on June 14 with the first session (5:30-7:30 p.m., all times are local time, MDT), followed by two sessions on June 15 (9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4:30-7:00 p.m.) and one session on June 16 (8:30-11:00 a.m.). Team finalists will be announced following the June 15 morning session. The team will train twice a day on June 17 and 18 (9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 4:30-7:00 p.m.), and will practice once on June 19 (9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). The team will train twice a day at the Washington Wizards' practice facility in Washington, D.C., on June 20-22, then depart for the Prague, Czech Republic, and the June 27-July 7 FIBA U19 World Championship.
FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 World Championship features some of the world’s best, young talent, and six different countries have claimed a gold medal in the past six U19 World Championships.
FIBA conducted the draw to determine the four preliminary round pools on Jan. 15, and the U.S. was placed in Group D with China (FIBA Asia gold), Ivory Coast (FIBA Africa silver) and Russia (FIBA Europe fourth place). Drawn into Group A for the June 27-29 preliminary round were Canada (FIBA Americas bronze), Croatia (FIBA Europe gold), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver) and Spain (FIBA Europe fifth place); Group B includes Argentina (FIBA Americas fourth place), host Czech Republic, Iran (FIBA Asia bronze) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver); while Group C is comprised of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold), Brazil (FIBA Americas silver), Senegal (FIBA Africa gold) and Serbia (FIBA Europe bronze).
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group advance to the second round that will be played July 1-3, where the 12 teams will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with preliminary-round results carrying over to the second-round standings. Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The quarterfinals will be held on July 5, semifinals are slated for July 6 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 7. Game times will be announced by FIBA at a later date.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years between 1979-2007. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every two years. USA men's teams are 69-13 in the U19/Junior World Championships and have won four gold and three silver medals, most recently finishing with a 7-2 record and in fifth place in 2011.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.