COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Alabama men’s basketball rising sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. was named one of 18 finalists for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team, which was released Tuesday morning following five practice sessions over three days that involved 31 players.
The finalists will continue training twice a day in Colorado Springs. The final 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team will be announced prior to the team’s June 24 departure for Greece with the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup taking place June 29-July 7.
Chaired by Purdue head coach Matt Painter, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee who made the finalist selections also consists of Shane Battier (Athlete Representative), Tony Bennett (Virginia head coach), Ed Cooley (Providence head coach) and Sean Miller (Arizona head coach).
“I am not overstating things if I say this was an incredibly difficult selection process,” said Painter. “Each of the 31 players involved in this training camp performed at a high level and brought some tangible skill strengths to the training camp for the committee to consider.
“We feel like our group of finalists offers coach (Bruce) Weber and his staff outstanding athleticism and versatility and the talent to become a very good defensive team.”
In addition to Lewis, the other finalists were: Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Joshua Christopher (Mayfair H.S./Lakewood, Calif.); Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas); Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.); Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State/Oshkosh, Wis.); Walker Kessler (Woodward Academy/Newnan, Ga.); Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State/Mansfield, Texas); Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian School/Temecula, Calif.); Casey Morsell (St. John’s College H.S./Washington, D.C.); Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins H.S./Hopkins, Minn.); Reggie Perry (Mississippi State/Thomasville, Ga.); Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy/Overland Park, Kan.); Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.); Anton Watson (Gonzaga Prep/Spokane, Wash.); Trevion Williams (Purdue/Chicago, Ill.); Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame H.S./Sherman Oaks, Calif.); and Samuell Williamson (Rockwall H.S./Rockwall, Texas). Jared Butler (Baylor University/Reserve, La.) was also selected a finalist but was unable to participate.
During his freshman season, Lewis earned a spot on the 2019 SEC All-Freshman team despite being the youngest active Division I men’s basketball player in the country. The Meridianville, Alabama, native led the Tide on the offensive side of the ball, topping the team with 13.5 points, 2.9 assists and 31.6 minutes per contest. He also led UA in free throw percentage (90-of-115, .783), double-figure scoring games (24) and 20-point games (5) for the season.