Posted: Jun 18, 2013 9:40 AM by UL Sports Information
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Elfrid Payton may have been one of the last players invited to the USA Basketball U19 tryouts this week, but that proved to be no indication of his ability to impact the team. Payton was named late on Monday night as one of 12 players that will represent the United States in the FIBA World Championships. The championships will be played from June 27-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Payton was one of two players added to the 26-player roster on June 11th, three weeks after the majority of the invitees were announced (May 21).
"To be selected to represent my country at the world championships is certainly a dream come true," Payton said. "It has been a real honor to practice against some of the best players in the world over the last four days. Now that I have made the team, I can work with my teammates and focus on our goal of winning the gold medal in Prague."
"I believe that Elfrid really opened some eyes over the weekend and the coaches understand what a truly sensational player that he is," Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin said. "He has the innate ability to make the other players around him better, which fits well into USA Basketball's team approach to the game.
Joining Payton on the USA U19 team are Michael Frazier (Florida); Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S., San Jose, Calif.); Jerami Grant (Syracuse); Montrezl Harrell (Louisville); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S., Chicago, Ill.); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State); Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee); Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke); Mike Tobey (Virginia); Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep, Happy Valley, Ore.); and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S., Houston, Texas).
Payton will remain in Colorado Springs and practice for two more days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The team will travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 19, where it will practice until leaving for the Czech Republic on Saturday (June 22).
In Prague, the USA Basketball team will play exhibition games against Croatia (June 24) and the Czech Republic (June 25) before opening tournament play against the Ivory Coast on June 27.
USA Basketball will play as many as nine games in the tournament, leading up to the championship game on Sunday, July 7.