REGENSBURG (David Hein's Eye on the Future) - The United States team has been announced for the annual Nike Hoop Summit. One question about the squad is how much of a sneak preview it will be for the group that plays at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017.
But the Nike Hoop Summit team - along with past USA squads at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup - could give a hint at what team might be fighting for the Americans' third straight U19 title.
Many of the top players from the USA's 1998-born generation will not be available for the U19 global spectacle as they will be heading to the NBA Draft - which takes place 10 days before Cairo 2017 tips off. Among those names from the 1998 group are Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Terrance Ferguson and Malik Monk.
In addition to the players heading to the NBA Draft, USA Basketball also will likely lose a player or two who want to head to their university ahead of time - for academic reasons or wanting to get a head start on working into the team's system. And of course there are injuries.
Moving to this year's Hoop Summit team, USA Basketball named five 1998-born players and seven who were born in 1999. Michael Porter Jr. will undoubtedly be one of the top players to watch at the showcase in Portland as well in Cairo this summer. He is the number one ranked player in his high school class and will be attending the University of Washington.
The 1999 group features six players who won the title at the FIBA U17 World Championship 2016 including MVP Colin Sexton and fellow All-Star Five member Wendell Carter Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was also on the USA team in Zaragoza. And while Jarred Vanderbilt missed Zaragoza 2016, he was the fifth-leading scorer for USA at the U16 continental tournament while being second in rebounds and assists.
That group of 12 is being called upon by USA Basketball to once again beat the Hoop Summit’s World Select Team, which will likely be announced within the next two weeks. The United States has won two of the past three Hoop Summits and have a 13-6 record in the series. But the two teams have split the last six games.
So the Nike Hoop Summit could be a sneak peak at what the USA's U19 team this summer might look like this summer.
By David Hein for FIBA.com