COLORADO SPRINGS (FIBA U17 World Championship) – Three-time reigning championsUnited States are ready for their opponents’ best shot after the draw was made for the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
"The bottom line is that teams are going to raise their level of play this summer in order to get a gold medal and that will help basketball worldwide."
Showalter has guided the United States to three straight undefeated titles in three U17 Worlds, winning all 23 previous games in the competition. The Americans also have never lost under Showalter at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, going 5-0 all four times, including last summer.
Despite having two newcomers in his group, Showalter knows his team will be challenged in Group A.
I think Turkey could be as good as anybody in that group. It’s their first time to qualify and they’ll be excited to play. And you can’t overlook Egypt or Taiwan. Egypt has improved greatly each time we have played them. So, we’ll have to come in with a great mind-set, which our kids will do. – Showalter
And the Americans will face tough teams throughout the tournament in Zaragoza from 23 June-3 July.
It’s not just about the teams in our group, there are a lot of excellent teams in the tournament," the coach said.
Bosnia and Herzegovina won their U16s last year and if you saw their celebration after they won gold, they’re going to be really fired up for this tournament. France can be really good. Canada gave us a run for our money in the U16s, so they’re going to be primed. - Showalter
Canada were leading by 20 points early in the second quarter of the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship final before the United States got back into the game and ended up winning 77-60. The United States and Canada, who were drawn into Group C, could meet as early as the Quarter-Finals or as late as the final.
Showalter said the level of excellence the Americans have displayed at the U17 Worlds over the years has been a direct influence on other countries getting better.
I think our play over the past three years has elevated all the other countries play as well,” he said.
We know all the teams will be very well coached."
Showalter and his coaching staff will hold a training camp to choose his 12-member team from June 11-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in Spain.