Wiley makes U17 team cut

Spain Park’s Austin Wiley made the first cut at the USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team training camp on June 12. (Contributed)

Spain Park’s Austin Wiley made the first cut at the USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team training camp on June 12. (Contributed)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Spain Park’s Austin Wiley has made the first cut at the USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team training camp. Wiley, a rising senior at Spain Park High School, was one of 36 athletes to be invited to the camp, which started on June 10, and is one of 18 athletes to still be in contention for one of the 12 final roster spots.

“What a competitive U17 training camp this has been! All 36 participants should be congratulated for their efforts and attitudes; this selection process was extremely difficult,” USA Basketball men’s national team director Sean Ford wrote in a press release. “Coming into the training we expected that the strength of our team would be the athletic ability, length and the quantity of players capable of playing multiple positions, and that has been the case. Now comes another huge challenge, selecting the 12-player USA team.”

The training camp is being used to determine the 12-man roster that will represent the United States at the 2016 FIBA U17 Men’s World Championship, which is being held in Zaragoza, Spain, from June 23-July 3. The USA earned its qualifying spot for the Worlds by winning gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship back in June of 2015 with a 5-0 record.

Wiley, a five-star prospect currently verbally committed to Auburn, made the first cut along with some of the top prep names in the country in the 2017 class. Wendell Carter Jr., Kevin Knox II, Gary Trent Jr., Jordan Brown, Markus Howard, Javonte Smart and Robert Woodard, all of who were on the U16 team that won gold in 2015, made the cut as well.

The final 12-man roster is expected to be announced at the culmination of the camp on June 17. The United States will face Taiwan on June 23 and will face Turkey on June 24. Following a day off, the USA will cap preliminary play against Egypt on June 26, at which point all teams playing will advance to the round of 16 on June 28. Winners from the round of 16 will advance to the medal round quarterfinals on June 30. The semifinals will be played on July 2 and the finals will be on July 3.

The FIBA U17 World Championship was first held in 2010, and is now held every two years. The USA has earned the gold medal in all three editions, compiling a perfect 23-0 record overall. Current NBA players Bradley Beal, Jahlil Okaford and Justice Winslow are a few of the names that have played in the FIBA Worlds to date.