FIL-AMERICAN Jalen Green has been named by USA Basketball for the national team bound for the Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup to be held in Argentina next month.
USA Basketball made the announcement on Friday Manila time on social media, where it also released a 48-second video presensation of the team with Green being introduced third.
Green, 16, played in the Philippines over the summer in the NBTC representing FilAm Sports USA and captured the imagination of Filipino basketball fans with his skills, talent, and leaping ability.
The high-flying Green, however, is not expected to cross paths with Batang Gilas in the tournament set from JUne 30 to JUly 8 in a number of Argentinian cities.
Team USA is bracketed in Group B with China, Mali and Serbia while Batang Gilas is in Group D with France, Croatia and host Argentina.
This is not the first time the 6-foot-5 Green has played for the USA national team, having represented the country in the squad’s Under-16 squad during the Fiba Americas.
The San Joaquin Memorial High School standout, whose mother and grandmother have Filipino blood, had previously expressed interest to play for his heritage country.
However, Green failed to secure a Philippine passport before turning 16 and his previous stint with the US Under-16 team disqualifies him from suiting up for his heritage country under Fiba rules.
The team underwent rigorous training in the United States Olympic training camp in Colorado Springs prior to its departure for Argentina.
“First of all, it was very difficult to get down to 12,” said USA Under-17 head coach Don Showalter in a statement. “We feel the 12 that we have fit what we need, which is versatility.
“They can play different positions. We've got some shooters. We've got some slashers. So, I think the 12 we have kind of have the whole package for us,” said Showalter.