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Arizona Wildcats’ Aaron Gordon to represent U.S. on U19 national team

Aaron Gordon was the MVP of the McDonald's All-America Game this spring. Photo by  Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Gordon was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-America Game this spring. Photo by Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats incoming freshman forward Aaron Gordon will be spending part of his summer overseas.

Gordon survived the final cut Monday night for United States national team that will compete at the U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 27-July 7.

Four players were trimmed from the roster Monday night after cuts reduced the roster from 26 to 16 on Sunday.

Arizona sophomore-to-be Brandon Ashley and incoming freshman wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were among the first round of cuts.

“Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we easy could have kept 14-15,” Team USA head coach Billy Donovan said in a release.

“There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team. Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style.

“From an execution standpoint we’ve got to get better there, a lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that’s probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism.”

Gordon has represented his country before. He played on the 2011 U16 FIBA Americas gold-medal-winning team and was part of the Junior National Select Team that participated in the Nike Hoop Summit this spring.

Here is the 12-player team:

Michael Frazier (University of Florida/Tampa, Fla.)
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.)
Jerami Grant (Syracuse University/Bowie, Md.)
Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.)
Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.)
Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Gretna, La.)
Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University/Flower Mound, Texas)
Jarnell Stokes (University of Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.)
Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke University/Houston, Texas)
Mike Tobey (University of Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.)
Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.)
Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas)

The two high school players on the team — Okafur (a 6-10 center) and Winslow (a 6-6 wing) — each have scholarship offers from Arizona.

Team USA will continue to train in Colorado Springs for the next two days, before spending three days practicing in Washington D.C. and then leacing for the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Check out this story on Gordon by The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, who was at the tryout camp in Colorado Springs. Gordon talks about the importance of developing his perimeter game.

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