Colorado Springs, Colo. --- Alex Kirk was named one of 16 finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team, announced officials with USA Basketball on Wednesday morning. Kendall Williams did not make the cut to 16.
Kirk will remain in Colorado Springs as the team continues practice with one more cut to come to get to the final 12 players. Training camp will continue in Colorado Springs through June 30, and the 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team's departure for Russia on July 1. The 2013 World University Games (WUGs) men's basketball competition will be played July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.
The announcement came following three days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., that kicked off on June 24 with 26 of the nation's top collegiate athletes.
"I'm really excited to have made the first cut, I wasn't really too sure," said Kirk after practice on Wednesday. "I still have a lot of work ahead of me to go to Russia, but it's nice to be guaranteed a few more practices which is pretty cool."
Williams, who impressed with his decision making and vocal play, said "It was an honor to wear the USA logo on my jersey, and what I picked up here this week will really help my game." Williams added, "I would have loved to have stayed, but I'm really happy for Alex. He will represent the USA and UNM well."
Along with Kirk, the other 15 finalists were: Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.); Yogi Ferrell (Indiana/Indianapolis, Ind.); Davante Gardner (Marquette/Suffolk, Va.); Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth/Temple Hills, Md.); Jerian Grant (Notre Dame/Bowie, Md.); Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.); Tyler Haws (BYU/Alpine, Utah); Rodney Hood (Duke/Meridian, Miss.); Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas); Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati/Yonkers, N.Y.); Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa); Adreian Payne (Michigan State/Dayton, Ohio); Chasson Randle (Stanford/Rock Island, Ill.); Will Sheehey (Indiana/Stuart, Fla.); and Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio).
Additionally, P.J. Hairston (North Carolina/Greensboro, N.C.) suffered an injury to his back during the evening session on June 25 and was not able to continue his participation.
"The effort of this group was unbelievable, and it was very tough to get down," said Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee. "Usually, it's pretty easy to get down to 16. It was not easy with this group. It was very difficult. Guys were very, very close in a two-day tryout. Another day, and it might have been a couple of different guys in there, but you have to take the guys that played the best, and those 16 played the best.
"I think we have the nucleus of a really good team. We've got good big guys, we've got good wing players, we've got scorers, we've got shooters, so I think it's a balanced team. That's what you hope for on these teams."
Davidson College's Bob McKillop will lead the USA, with assistant coaches John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.