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Basketball: Southland's best ballers tryout for USA Basketball

June 20, 2008 | 12:26 pm

About a month ago, this blog surfaced on Varsity Times Insider about the possibility of several players from the Southland being invited to attend tryouts for the USA under-18 national team on July 1-3 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Turns out, quite a few of our guys will, in fact, have the opportunity to make the squad after the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee -- chaired by Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim -- announced the participants last week.

Malcolm Lee of Riverside North headlines the local contingent. Loyola's Hollis Thompson and brothers David and Travis Wear from Mater Dei will be in attendance as well. It should also be mentioned that UCLA-commits Drew Gordon of San Jose Mitty and Reeves Nelson of Modesto Christian received nods for the trials.

East Coast standouts Kemba Walker of New York (N.Y). Rice, Sylven Landesberg of Flushing (N.Y.) Holy Cross and Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln are among the other 25 players in camp, along with Dexter Strickland of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick.

Following the tryouts, the committee will announce the 12-member team, plus alternates, with the finalists remaining in Washington for the July 4-10 training camp before departing for the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on July 14-18 in Argentina.

-- Sean Ceglinsky