Colorado Springs, Colo. – Virginia Tech men’s basketball player Justin Bibbs has been named to the 2015 USA Basketball FIBA U19 World Championship Team roster. The USA U19 squad will compete in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship from June 27-July 5 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Bibbs, a rising sophomore from Dayton, Ohio, was named to replace Isaiah Briscoe, who was forced to withdraw from the 12-member team after suffering a concussion during the USA’s Thursday morning practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The USA U19 World Championship Team training continues at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, through Saturday, June 20.
“I feel very bad for Isaiah. He had a tremendous attitude and was one of our overall best players and one of our leaders of the team,” said USA U19 head coach Sean Miller (Arizona). “It is very, very unfortunate to see him get injured in what was really a two-on-two drill. But the good news is I know he’ll recover and be fine; the bad news is he won’t be able to play on our team.
“However, trimming this team from 16 to 12 was very, very difficult because the four players that didn’t make the 12-man roster were excellent players in their own right. One of them is Justin Bibbs from Virginia Tech, who had a great freshman year. I think he brings a quickness and a veteran type of mindset that will really benefit us moving forward. And in our style of play where we are pressing and really pushing the ball he is a tremendous athlete, and I think he’ll really add a quality that we need, especially loosing Isaiah.”
The USA has captured a record five FIBA U19 World Championship gold medals and three silver medals in the 11 editions of the event, which first was held in 1979.
As defending U19 champions, the USA has an opportunity to win consecutive FIBA U19 World Championships for just the second time since the competition began in 1979. The United States captured back-to-back gold in 1979 and 1983, and since then, Yugoslavia (1987), Greece (1995), Spain (1999), Australia (2003), Serbia (2007) and Lithuania (2011) have won a single gold medal, with the USA also earning gold in 1991, 2009 and 2013.
For the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, the USA has drawn preliminary round Group A and will play Iran on June 27, Croatia on June 28 and Egypt on June 30. Playing in preliminary round Group B will be Argentina, China, Spain and Turkey; Group C features Australia, Canada, Italy and Tunisia; and Group D includes Dominican Republic, Greece, Serbia and South Korea.
All 16 teams advance to the round of 16 that will be played on July 1. The winners advance to the medal-round quarterfinals on July 3, while the round of 16 losers will compete out for 9th-16th places. The semifinals are on July 4, and the finals are on July 5.
Members of past USA U19 teams have included standouts such as: Stacey Augmon (1987); Vin Baker (1991); Vince Carter (1995); Nick Collison (1999); Stephen Curry (2007); Eric Floyd (1979); Aaron Gordon (2013 MVP); Tim Hardaway Jr. (2011); Montrezl Harrell (2013); Gordon Hayward (2009); Larry Johnson (1987); Jeremy Lamb (2011); Stephon Marbury (1995); Doug McDermott (2011); Jahlil Okafor (2013); Gary Payton (1987); Sam Perkins (1979); J.J. Redick (2003); Marcus Smart (2013); Klay Thompson (2009); Deron Williams (2003); Justise Winslow (2013); and James Worthy (1979).