July 3, 2007
DALLAS - Gonzaga University sophomore Matt Bouldin has been named to the USA Basketball U19 World Championship squad.
Bouldin was one of 18 players vying for a spot while competing in the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Trials.
Featuring three members of last summer's victorious USA U18 Team, the selected players will represent the United States in the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship (players must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) that will be held July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Joining Bouldin on the squad will be Darrell Arthur (Kansas / Dallas, Texas); Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep, Mass./ Frederick, Md.); Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.); Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Donte' Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.); DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. / Humble, Texas); David Lighty (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio); Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio); Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.); and Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.).
"I was excited about the attitude that all the kids brought to Dallas. I think in a very short period all of the kids attending the trials understood the significance of what faced them and because of that they all approached the trials as if they were a part of the team. It was intense, it was competitive, but it also showed a lot about their character and how they played together. There was very, very little selfish play. I think they all benefitted from this experience and will be better players just for these couple of days," said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright.
"In terms of the team, I think the one thing you need to have in today's basketball is versatility. We have perimeter players that can play with and without the ball. We have very mobile inside kids. I think we really benefit from the fact that the majority of the team has one year of college basketball under their belt and all of them come from programs where they've been coached and they already understand the physicality of what they will be facing. I think we're a strong, athletic, very quick team that will play the right way and one that has chance to represent the country at a very high level.
"What everybody has to understand now is how important each possession is in practice. Because we have such limited practice time, in order to build a team and to deal with what we will face we really need to focus on each and every possession in practice so that we can be organized when we play in these games. We'll certainly try to impress upon the kids that the teams we are going to play have practiced a lot together and we're going to have to overcome that with team play and we're really going to have to be intense and we're going to have to be focused on each and every possession," Wainwright added.
Bouldin, from Highlands Ranch, Colo., blossomed into one of the top freshmen in the West Coast Conference last season, earning All-WCC Freshman Team honors. He averaged 8.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 3.1 assists/game. His 1.51 assist-to-turnover ratio led the team. He had 13 double-digit scoring nights with a season-high 21 points twice. He started 20 games, including the last 15 of the season.
Bouldin becomes the sixth Bulldog to represent the USA in international basketball competition. John Stockton was on the 1992 and 1996 Dream Teams in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, respectively. Matt Santangelo (1999), Dan Dickau (2001) and Blake Stepp (2003) played on World University Games teams. Adam Morrison was named to participate in the 2006-08 Men's Senior National Team program and was a member of the 2004 World Championships For Young Men squad. Other Gonzaga players who have represented their country in international competition are Ronny Turiaf (France), John Rillie (Australia), Paul Rogers (Australia) and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes (Canada).
Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, will lead the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University's (D.C.) Karl Hobbs will serve as assistant coaches.
Five of the selected 12 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, including three members of the 2006 USA U18 National Team that finished 4-0, captured gold, and qualified the United States for the 2007 U19 World Championship. Beasley (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); Flynn (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); and Greene (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team) were all members of the U18 National team and were most recently members of the victorious 2007 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 100-80 in the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit.
Additionally, Porter participated in the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials and was named a finalist for the team, while Arthur (2005 Youth Development Festival White Team) is an alumnus of USA Basketball's Youth Development Festival.
Eight of the USA's team members completed their collegiate freshman season in 2006-07, four wrapped up their high school senior campaign on 2007.
The USA squad will participate in the 2007 Global Games and will meet team Africa on July 5 (8 p.m.), Puerto Rico's U19 National Team on July 6 (6 p.m.), and the Global Games finals will be conducted on July 7. Also competing in the Global Games are Argentina, the Global Games AA team, and a team to de determined. All of the Global Games action will be held at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU.