"At first I was hesitant, but after talking to my dad about it I realized what an unbelievable experience it will be," the 6-foot-10 Leaf told ESPN.
Leaf's father, Brad, played 17 seasons professionally in Israel, and T.J. was born in the country. T.J. Leaf is ranked ninth in the ESPN Top 100, and the skilled power forward plays at Foothills Christian High in San Diego.
Brad Leaf said that his son will play in an Adidas summer event this weekend in Atlanta and then fly directly to Israel, where he will spend two days in Tel Aviv before going to Romania for a pair of practice games. The U18 championships will take place in Austria from July 23-August 2.
"He'll get a chance to experience something completely different," Brad Leaf told ESPN. "A different culture, and a different environment. I think it's a tremendous opportunity for him."