June 18, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--University of Pittsburgh sophomore Ashton Gibbs has been named to the USA Basketball Men's Under-19 National Team, the organization announced on Thursday at the United States Olympic Training Center. Gibbs is one of 12 players who will remain with head coach Jamie Dixon in Colorado Springs through June 25 to continue training for the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, which will be held July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Incoming Pitt freshman and McDonalds All-American Dante Taylor will did not make the 12-man roster. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.
All 12 selected athletes recently completed their freshman year at a NCAA Division I school. Also selected to represent the United States at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship were: DeAngelo Casto (Washington State / Spokane, Wash.), Seth Curry (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.), Gordon Hayward (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.), Shelvin Mack (Butler / Lexington, Ky.), Darius Miller (Kentucky / Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP / Memphis, Tenn.), John Shurna (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.), Klay Thompson (Washington State / Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and Terrico White (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.).
"I think this is a well-balanced team," Boeheim said. "They'll have to get the job done as a team. They may not have a star-caliber player, but they have a lot of very good players. At this stage the Under-19 team looks like they will work very well together. All of the Under-19 trials participants played very hard throughout the trials. There has been no lack of effort, and that's a good sign."
"We're a pretty good shooting team from the perimeter and we have some big guys who can shoot the ball, so I think that's going to be a strength," said USA Under-19 National Team and Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. "I'm concerned that we don't really have experienced point guards, but I think we've got some wings that can make some plays.
"Now at this point we've got our team and we've got to just mold it. We didn't do a lot of team stuff during these three days (of trials), but what we're now going to do is focus on defending as a team and then running our offense, and just trying to play unselfish, playing hard and playing smart at the same time."
Gibbs, a West Orange, N.J. native, Gibbs led the Big East Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.439) and averaged 4.3 points in 35 games played as a freshman in 2008-09. The sophomore guard reached double figure scoring in six games, hit at least one 3-pointer in 19 contests and converted three or more 3-pointers in six games on the year.
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