Alabama sophomore point guard Kira Lewis Jr. was selected to the 12-man 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup team roster, which was announced Thursday.
Lewis led Alabama in assists (2.9 apg), 20-point games (5) and minutes (31.6 mpg), while ranking third in three-point field goal percentage (.358) last season as a freshman.
“First I would like to thank God because without him none of this is possible,” Lewis said. “I am very thankful to USA basketball for giving me this opportunity to represent my country, the state of Alabama and all of Bama Nation! This is a dream come true to wear the USA across my chest. I would also like to thank all of the fans for supporting me and would especially like to thank my family, my friends and the coaches who have helped me achieve this goal. You guys all played a big part in this! Roll Tide!”
Also named to the team: Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas); Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.); Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State/Oshkosh, Wis.); Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State/Arlington, Texas); Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian School/Temecula, Calif.); Reggie Perry (Mississippi State/Thomasville, Ga.);Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy, FL/Overland Park, Kan.); Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.); Trevion Williams (Purdue/Chicago, Ill.); and Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame H.S./Sherman Oaks, Calif.).
“It’s been a very, very difficult selection process the last couple of days. One to cut the roster down to 18, and then to get it 12,” said USA and Kansas State University head coach Bruce Weber. “We had a really talented group of players, there were a lot of guys who could be part of this team. I think the thing we have is experience. We have guys who played major college basketball in tough environments, and then we also have another group that has played for USA Basketball at different levels and won gold medals.
“When you think about playing international basketball it’s about toughness, it’s about experience, IQ, and I think that all adds up to why we chose this roster and hopefully moving forward it gives us the best opportunity to win the gold.”
The USA will continue training in Colorado Springs through June 23, then travel to Heraklion, Crete, Greece, for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup that will be played June 29-July 7. ll-time record at the event.