Sunday, July 13, 2008

Maalik Wayns and the U18 Team

Looking for news about the team may be difficult. I don't know how closely ESPN/CBS/SportingNews/etc. will cover the team. The news I have found has come from USA Basketball, the non-profit organization which runs the USA's development program for the Olympic Committee and organizes the teams for FIBA competitions (a pretty good background on USA Basketball over at Wikipedia).

The team has left for Argentina on Friday -- the USA Basketball site has published 2 articles ("Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Part I" & "Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Part II") over the weekend, which documented their journey to Argentina and first few hours in the host country, getting focused for the tournament. Part I has a mini-interview with incoming UConn guard Kemba Walker and another with Maalik (and Maalik's picture is posted on Part II...better treatment than the Philly media). I suspect USA Basketball will be the major distributor for news/updates, so if you want to follow daily, bookmark their site (above -- or maybe the mods will sticky this post for easy reference). They are, according to the published schedule due to play Venezuela on Monday. This will be a typical international tournament -- 3 round robin games in their bracket (Monday - Wednesday), followed by 2 medal round games (Thursday & Friday). Team USA is assigned to Bracket B with the Bahamas, Pueto Rico and Venezuela. The top 4 finishers (brackets A & B) will qualify for FIBA's U19 competition next year.

For those not familiar with Maalik, USA Basketball has also provided a Background/Bio Page on him, and indeed on every member on team roster.

Go Maalik!

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