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June 16, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Abdul Gaddy Earns A Spot On USA U18 National Team

Photo credit: USA Basketball
Washington guard Abdul Gaddy (above, left) was selected to the 12-man USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship that will be held June 26-30 at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Gaddy was one of 19 players who participated in a training camp along with Husky incoming freshman Desmond Simmons (above, right). Simmons, a late addition to the training camp roster, did not make the team.
“I came here expecting to make it,” Gaddy said. “I came here and played hard and showed the coaches what I can do and they were impressed.”
When asked about Simmons, Gaddy said: “He did well. He did real well. He hustled and made a lot of hustle plays. He did what he does best. He did real good.”
Still a few players stood out during the past three days.
“A couple of players have impressed me,” Gaddy said. “Kyrie Irving (who is bound for Duke) is pretty good. Trevor Cooney (who Syracuse commit) can really shoot. Patric Young (Florida’s incoming freshman) is a big that plays real hard. A couple of these players are real good and will be good next year in the college game.”
The complete roster includes: G Vander Blue, Cooney, Gaddy, F/C Josh Hairston, Irving, F/C Quincy Miller, F Tony Mitchell, F LeBryan Nash, F Jereme Richmond, G Austin Rivers, F/C Amir Williams and Young.
The U18 national team is coached by Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel with Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech and Reggie Witherspoon of Buffalo as assistants.
Players must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1992 to be eligible for the tournament.
In 2008, a USA team led by Connecticut’s Kemba Walker, Alabama’s JaMychal Green, David and Travis Wear, who recently transferred from North Carolina to UCLA Duke’s Mason Pumlee and UCLA’s Malcolm Lee won its first four games, but lost 77-64 to Argentina in the championship game and finished with a silver medal. The tournament was held in Formosa, Argentina.
I also had a chance to connect with Simmons last night for a quick interview.

(How has it been) “It’s been good. It’s real competitive. Guys are really getting after it. It’s been good competition.”
(What do you want to accomplish at the training camp?) “I definitely want to make team and just evaluate myself and see where I stand and see what I need to work on against this kind of competition. Just things I need to do better and take a lot of learning from it.”
(Do you have a sense of how you compare with the rest?) “Yeah. I’ve been competing very well. You always can be stronger and more physical – it’s very physical out here – so that’s hard. You can always develop more in that area. Just being active. Don’t get caught standing and be active on the court.”
(Who has impressed you?) “Kyrie Irving. He’s very impressive. Hands down he’s probably one of the best point guards in my class.”
(Why has he impressed you?) “He’s very active. He’s a leader. He makes good passes and makes good decisions on offense and defense. He’s vocal. He’s a good point guard.”
(Did you have any reservations joining the training camp as a late addition?) “No. When I got the phone call, I was very excited and wanted to take the opportunity and make the most of it.”
(What else will you do this summer?) “I’m going to play in the San Francisco Pro-Am whenever I get back. And just keep working out. That’s the only thing new that I added. That’s going to help me a lot too.”
(When does that begin?) “It starts on Friday. It goes until July. I just want to be able to play in 2-3 games.”
(How has it been playing with Gaddy?) “It’s great playing with Abdul. He’s a leader. He’s very vocal.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA


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