King Philip star and 2012 ESPN Boston Mr. Basketball Jake Layman has made the final cut of 12 for USA Basketball's U18 squad that will participate in next week's FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
Layman made the initial cut of 14 on Thursday. The U.S. team will continue to train through June 11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will depart June 12 for Brazil. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
The 6-foot-8, Maryland-bound Layman was named ESPN Boston's Mr. Basketball following a decorated career at KP that will go down as the greatest in program history. He is also a two-time Super Teamer on ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team. As a senior this year, he led the Warriors to their most single-season wins (18) in school history, and was named the Hockomock League's MVP for the second straight year after averaging 26.5 points, 15 rebounds and 5.8 blocks. For his career, he finished with 1,752 points, 1,098 rebounds and 391 blocks.
“I think we’ve got some balance, we’ve got some versatility, we can move guys to some different positions. This has been a group that has picked up things pretty well so far so I’m excited about it,” Team USA head coach Billy Donovan said in a statement. “The thing I’ve been most impressed with since we started is just their attitudes. It seems like we’ve got really good chemistry, they get along real well, they seem to be a cohesive group.
“I think we have to play up tempo; we have to offensive rebound; and I think the other thing for our team that we have to get better at is taking care of the basketball. I think when you’ve got a lot of players that are thrown together and are now starting to play, they don’t really know each other. But I definitely think rebounding and transition are going to be important keys, and I also think defensively how well we can guard the 3-point line.”
For the full final roster, CLICK HERE.