Pitt sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs was named today to the 2009 USA Men’s U19 World Championship Team, coached by Pitt’s Jamie Dixon.
Forward Dante Taylor, an incoming freshman at Pitt, and sophomore point guard Truck Bryant of West Virginia didn’t make the cut. The 12-man team was picked from a field of 17 players after three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I was nervous at first, of course,” said the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Gibbs, who averaged 4.3 points and led the Big East in 3-point shooting percentage as a freshman at Pitt. “Once I heard my name, it’s just a tremendous honor to play for the USA.”
The team will complete at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. The player selections were made by the Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim. Each of the players selected is a rising sophomore in college.
“We’re a pretty good shooting team from the perimeter and we have some big guys who can shoot the ball,” Dixon said, “so I think that’s going to be a strength.”
Added Gibbs, “I know what Coach Dixon likes. He is a defensive-minded coach who also likes tough guys who can rebound. He likes guys who can knock down open shots as well. I’m going to express that to my teammates and, hopefully, we can do our best to get the gold medal.”
Also on the team are DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson of Washington State, Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack of Butler, Seth Curry of Duke, Darius Miller of Kentucky, Arnett Moultrie of UTEP, John Shurna of Northwestern, Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas and Howard Thompkins of Georgia.