Florida Gators guard Michael Frazier II selected for USA Basketball U19 World Championship team
Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier II is among 12 players who have been selected for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship team.
The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship will be held June 24-July 6 in Prague, Czech Republic./ The team will be coached by Florida's Billy Donovan, VCU coach Shaka Smart and Virginia coach Tony Bennett.
Frazier, the former Plant standout and Montverde Academy graduate, was among 24 players invited to compete for a spot on the team. He made the final cut on Sunday, before being selected for the team on Monday evening.
"Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we easy could have kept 14-15," said Donovan, who led the 2012 USA U18 Team to a 5-0 record, a FIBA Americas U18 gold medal finish and a qualifying berth for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship. "There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team. Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style. From an execution standpoint we've got to get better there. A lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that's probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism."
Frazier averaged 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 36 games as a freshman, with one start. He said prior to leaving for the USA Basketball tryouts that if he made the team it would be a dream come true.
"You're getting an opportunity to play for your country," Frazier said. "And any time you have an opportunity to play for your country, you're very proud and honored. I've always wanted to be a part of that."
Donovan said competing for the team was physically and mentally demanding on the players.
"These kids being here since (last) Friday, obviously there's been a physical toll on them, but I don't think you can underestimate the mental toll of these kids trying so hard to make the team," Donovan said. "Here it is today and they have gone through Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday - four etty difficult days against really difficult competition - and the uncertainty of 'Am I playing well enough?, 'Am I going to make the team or not make the team?'; that stress, that pressure, I think that adds to their fatigue. So I think getting that behind us now and going forward we can get our guys focused on being the best team. I think the focus up to this point in time by them has been 'make the team', 'make the team', 'make the team', and we've got to now move it towards trying to win."
Here is the full 2013 roster:
Michael Frazier (University of Florida/Tampa); Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.); Jerami Grant (Syracuse University/Bowie, Md.); Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Gretna, La.); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University/Flower Mound, Texas); Jarnell Stokes (University of Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke University/Houston, Texas); Mike Tobey (University of Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.); Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.); and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas).