If there was ever any doubt about Illinois’ next superstar, he put it to rest Tuesday.
Ayo Dosunmu — along with 32 of the country’s best young players — was invited to training camp on May 30. The team was cut down to 18 finalists on June 3, a group that included fellow Chicago native and Simeon star, Talen Horton-Tucker. The 18 remaining members were given five more practices in front of coaches Bill Self, Danny Manning and Anthony Grant. The final cut was made this past Tuesday.
It’s a great honor for Dosunmu, as he’s the first Illinois native to make the squad since Jalen Brunson, and it’s a statement for any who thought he might not have belonged. He squared off against the best players in his class in the country and showed that he belonged there just as much as anyone else.
The 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will kick off June 10 and wrap up with the championship on the 16th. The United States, winners of the past four FIBA Americas championships, will compete in Group A and open play against Dominican Republic on the 10th. The national team will then take on Panama and Puerto Rico over the next two days. Group B includes host Canada, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador. After round robin play is finished, the teams will be reseeded into an eight-team playoff format. The top four teams will qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.
Top 2020 target Adam Miller, Dosunmu’s teammate up at Morgan Park, will be trying out for the USA’s U17 trials which will be held on June 15-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Miller has the potential to be a top-ten player in his class. The battle for a commitment will really start to take off soon.
This experience should pay dividends for both guards. It’s an introduction to instruction and advice from some of the best in the game, competition in the form of some of the best players in the world, and top-notch facilities. Dosunmu will join the rest of the team on campus when the tournament wraps up with plenty to take from the experience, regardless of the outcome.