USA vs Australia U17 Finals: Future NBA Studs in Global Basketball Bout
America knows basketball.
On Sunday, July 8, Team USA's U17 men's basketball squad will face off against Australia in the 2012 FIBA Final. The contest is more than an opportunity for you to warm up the "U-S-A, U-S-A" chants before the Summer Olympics. It's a chance to check out the future phenoms of the NBA.
Here are three names David Stern will be announcing in the draft in a few years' time.
3. Justice Winslow
Winslow is a small forward out of Houston, who's ranked by ESPN as the No. 11 prospect in the Class of 2014. He has offers from UCLA, Baylor, Texas and countless others.
Winslow is an elite athlete who complements his physical ability with tremendous instincts and passing ability. At this point in his career, he doesn't have the smoothest stroke, but let's just say time is on his side to develop a consistent J.
Through seven games in the FIBA tournament, he's averaged 9.4 points and 8.4 boards per game.
2. Tyus Jones
Is Tyus Jones the next great NBA point guard? Only time will tell, but the floor general out of Apple Valley, Minn., sure has promise.
Unlike the majority of the freak-athlete, score-first point guards who have entered the league over the years, Jones is a dying breed—a pure point.
He has options, too; Duke, Ohio State and Michigan State all want him, and as ESPN’s No. 3-ranked prospect, so does every other school in the nation.
Jones is leading Team USA with 5.3 assists and 9.4 points per game.
1. Jahlil Okafor
Will 2014 be a historic class with Okafor, Jones and Andrew Wiggins?
The phrase, "a man amongst boys," is overused in the world of sports, but at 6'11" and 280 pounds, Okafor defines the cliché.
Unsurprisingly, a prospect with his size is as highly sought-after as they come. ESPN's No. 2 baller in the 2014 class has scholarship offers from Duke, UNC, UConn and basically every other powerhouse in the country.
Going into the FIBA final, he has dominated any and all opposition in his path, leading Team USA with 13.6 points and 8.2 boards per game. Remember the name—of course, being that he's Emeka Okafor's cousin, it shouldn't be too difficult.
UPDATE: The U.S. blew Australia out the water with a 95-62 drubbing in the gold-medal final in Kaunas, Lithuania. Guard Conner Frankamp, a 6'1" guard out of Kansas, Kan., led Team USA with 22 points on 27 minutes of floor time.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and is a syndicated writer.
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