DaJuan Gordon will compete against dozens of the best up-and-coming basketball players in the country next month — and will do so in an attempt to play internationally.
Gordon, an incoming freshman for Kansas State, received an invite for the USA Basketball U19 World Cup training camp, which will run from June 15 to 18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During the training camp, Gordon will try to seal a spot on the team’s 12-player roster. The team, which will come from the group of 34 training camp invitees, will be picked by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, comprised of four men’s basketball head coaches — chairman Matt Painter of Purdue, Virginia’s Tony Bennett, Providence’s Ed Cooley and Arizona’s Sean Miller — and former NBA player Shane Battier.
The finalists will be announced June 18. The dozen players who make the national team will be revealed prior to the team’s departure for the World Cup on June 24. To be eligible for the team, athletes must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
Gordon joins 14 other soon-to-be college freshmen on the 34-man training camp roster. There also are seven rising college sophomores — with Iowa State’s Tyrese Hailburton and Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele from the Big 12 — and 13 rising high school seniors.
A consensus top-150 player nationally in the 2019 class, Gordon led Chicago’s Curie Metropolitan High to conference and city championships and a third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament, compiling an overall record of 35-2.
Named the Chicago Sun-Times’ City Player of the Year, Gordon scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds in Curie’s 65-60 victory over Morgan Park in February, giving the school its first city title in history. He averaged 17.6 points — on 54.4 percent shooting (228-of-419) — 7.9 rebounds and 2 assists per game during his senior season. Gordon went on to earn first-team all-state honors from several publications, including the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times and the Champaign News-Gazette.
If Gordon makes the cut for the national team, he’ll unite with his new college coach: K-State head coach Bruce Weber was named head coach for the U19 team earlier this month.
Weber and the team will take part in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece, from June 29 to July 7.
Team USA has been placed in Group A at the World Cup with Lithuania, New Zealand and Senegal.