The opportunity to represent any country’s national team is an incredible honor. We’ve had the privilege to witness three prospects from the 18U Team USA squad and the path has been quite different for each of these young men. The select trio of Armando Bacot, Josiah James, and Coby White have all come a long way to this point, but one could argue that their best basketball is in the future.
Throughout this process, Bacot has been in the spotlight while making a name as one of the top big men in the Class of 2019. Hailing from Virginia, the 6-foot-10 power forward has possessed massive two-way abilities since we first saw him, just over three years ago. His blend of size, skill, and athleticism made him an easy selection for this roster, but no one should be surprised if Bacot emerges as a prominent leader amongst this group.
The fact that each of these players are from neighboring states is quite an impressive feat, but the emergence of a prospect from South Carolina is especially impressive. Porter Gaud’s point guard, James, has quickly become one of the most coveted and high-level players on the available market. At a lengthy 6-foot-7 with phenomenal intangibles to boot, James could feasibly separate himself as the best guard prospect on this roster. He’s a proven winner that leads by example and has continually improved his game at a riveting pace.
Finally, the youngest of the group, White, has been a Phenom-favorite for quite a while, but now he’s finally begun to strut his skills on the international level. The cold-blooded scorer was once a diamond in the rough, but has since blown up into the future Tar Heel we see today. At 6-foot-5, White isn’t the most physically dominant player, but he knows how to get a bucket against any type of opponent with relative ease. When this USA squad is in need of a basket, expect them to turn to White, and expect the combo guard from Greenfield Academy to get it done.
The purpose of this article was not to brag about the amount of talent we’ve seen, but rather to examine how differently each of these prospects got to this point. James didn’t begin receiving true national attention until these last six months, Bacot had been on the national radar since his freshman season, and White was somewhere between the two. The point being, it doesn’t matter where you begin, it’s about where you want to go.