The NBA may be on hiatus, but that won’t stop some of the country’s top young talent from battling it out for international supremacy on the hardwood this summer.
Thursday the United States’ under-19 national team opened play at the FIBA Under 19 World Championships in Latvia with an impressive 115-60 victory against Egypt.
Led by a game-high 19 points from Doug McDermott (Creighton), the Americans opened the game on a 22-0 run and led 25-5 after the first quarter.
Connecticut rising sophomore Jeremy Lamb and Joe Jackson (Memphis) each chipped in 15 points and seven-footer Meyers Leonard (Illinois) added 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The U.S. continues its title defense when it faces Serbia on Friday. Two years ago a pair of then-unknown players from Butler — Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack — led the Americans to a perfect 9-0 record to win the tournament in Greece.
This year’s team is led by new George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt whose Georgia Tech teams were always loaded with talent but rarely lived up to their potential. Will the latest installment of Team U.S.A. experience the same fate?