USA Basketball has invited 62 of the best high school basketball players to its Junior National Team Minicamp, which will be held October 7-10 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This is the first time in three years that this event will take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the best young players in the NBA, as well as others who will be selected in the upcoming drafts, attended the last camp in 2019, including Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Green, Scoot Henderson and DJ Wagner. .
“This camp has been an important part of the development of our national junior team, and we’re really happy to be doing it again,” USA Basketball national team manager Sean Ford told ESPN. “The world is improving at a faster rate than we are improving, so we need to keep improving with more camps, continuity and teaching. It’s getting harder and harder – we’re not going to continue to be unbeaten forever at U16 and U17 levels as we have been since 2009.
“It’s a very important weekend for us, also for our athletes to test themselves and continue to learn how to play with other good players.”
USA Basketball will host drills, practices, competitive scrimmages, educational programs and life skills development over the weekend, as well as sessions dedicated to parents of elite prospects to help support the growth of their children on and off the field.
Having participants try out for future United States basketball teams, along with other invitations to camps and events, creates an extremely demanding atmosphere in which players often face the level of competition the higher than they have seen at this point in their career. Most players will be evaluated for the first time by NBA teams, which are each allowed to send a representative to scout the event, although they shouldn’t be able to draft players straight out of high school. for many years, if at all.
Twenty-one players currently ranked as five-star prospects in the 2023, 2024 and 2025 ESPN recruiting rankings are expected to attend. In the past, lesser-known prospects such as Holmgren, Jaden Ivey and Anthony Edwards have used the event platform to launch themselves into greater national exposure.
The 62 entrants will be split into two groups, older and younger players, conducted in separate sessions. Stars can position themselves for consideration for two FIBA events that USA Basketball will be taking part in next summer, the FIBA U16 Americas Championship and the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, as well as the Nike Hoop Summit which will will be held in Portland next April.
Among the expected top prospects are top 10 high schoolers Justin Edwards, Omaha Biliew and Ron Holland. From the junior class, top 10 recruits Ian Jackson, Karter Knox, David Castillo and Ace Bailey are confirmed, while among the high school sophomores, top five recruits Cam Boozer, Koa Peat, Darryn Peterson and Bryson Tiller make part of the headliners. .
A lot has changed in the youth basketball industry since the last Junior National Team minicamp in 2019. are produced, while G League Ignite and Overtime Elite have emerged. as attractive alternate paths to college basketball for elite prep players.
USA Basketball is in the midst of a transition phase at the junior level, as longtime coach Don Showalter, winner of 10 gold medals with the U16 and U17 teams from 2009 to 2019, has transitioned into a coaching role. advisor after compiling a perfect 62-0 record. Longtime assistant coach Sharman White has guided USA Basketball’s U16 and U17 teams to gold medals at the Americas Championship and FIBA World Cup over the past two summers. Former NBA scout BJ Domingo replaced Samson Kayode, who left for the front office of the San Antonio Spurs, as the primary liaison between athletes and the USA Basketball Junior National Team program in January 2021.
USA Basketball hasn’t lost a FIBA game at the junior level since 2017, when RJ Barrett and Canada defeated the U19 team at the World Cup in Cairo.