Wiley to compete in U19 World Cup

Published 5:10 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Competing on the national stage is becoming somewhat of the norm for former Spain Park standout and rising sophomore at Auburn Austin Wiley. It was announced on Thursday, June 22, that Wiley would compete in the USA’s U19 basketball team as he looks to earn another gold medal.

Wiley, who was named as one of the 12 members of the team, will compete for the gold medal in Cairo, Egypt July 1-9. It marks the second time he will compete in such an event in as many summers after leading the USA FIBA men’s U17 to a World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain. During that run last summer, Wiley averaged eight points and 6.4 rebounds, which was second on the team, as he picked up his first gold medal. He also attended the 2015 U16 National Team training camp and has participated in the past three October minicamps.

Coming out of Spain Park, Wiley moved to a prep school for the fall of 2016 before joining Auburn early in 2017, something that is rare in college basketball. With the Jags, Wiley averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds as a junior and also helped them get to the 7A state championship game. He was a three-time all-state selection after starting his freshman-junior years with Spain Park.

“An Olympic Orr-Wiley family tradition continues,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “Representing the USA and Auburn. I’m so proud of Austin.”

Wiley’s mother, All-American and Hall of Famer Vickie Orr, won a bronze medal as a member of the 1992 USA Olympic basketball team, won gold at both the Goodwill Games and World Championships in 1990. She was a member of 1987 World University Games team and 1985 Junior World Championships team.

Wiley’s father, Aubrey, was the SEC’s leading rebounder in 1993-94, averaging 11.8 points and 9.3 rebounds as a senior at Auburn.

The team will remain in Colorado Springs and will train twice a day through Sunday before departing for Egypt. Wiley is one of two centers on the roster and while there are several forward’s, his 6-foot-9 height is second on the team, which should assure him good minutes on the court.

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season while starting 21 of 22 games. The Hoover native, who shot 58.0 percent from the floor, scored a career-high 25 points, including 21 in the second half, at NIT Champion TCU on Jan. 28. He recorded his first double-double in only his 11th game as he had 10 points and a career-best 11 rebounds at No. 23 South Carolina, which reached the Final Four.

He was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 23 after averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins vs. Alabama and LSU.

Other Auburn players to participate representing their country are as follows: Charles Barkley (Olympic Gold medalist, 1992 and 1996 Dream Teams); World University Games: John Mengelt (1970), Charles Barkley (1983), Chuck Person (1985), Pat Burke (1993 and 1995 with Ireland), Mamadou N’diaye (1998 with Senegal); U22 World Championship: Wesley Person (1993); U.S. Olympic Festival: Charles Barkley (1982), Chris Morris (1985), Wesley Person (1991); Junior World Championship: Wesley Person (1991).

Selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee as athletes eligible must be 19 years or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998) and U.S. citizens.