COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Baylor rising senior Cory Jefferson has earned a spot on the final 12-member USA Basketball Men's World University Games team roster, which was announced by USA Basketball on Saturday.
The roster was selected after five days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. There were 29 players invited to the training camp, and 16 finalists were chosen Wednesday.
Jefferson will be the seventh Baylor player to play for USA Basketball, and the first since Lawrence Roberts played in the 2003 Pan Am Games. Brian Skinner is the only previous Baylor player to participate in the World University Games (1997).
A Killeen, Texas, native, Jefferson is the only Big 12 Conference player, the only Texas native and the only player on track to graduate in 2013 on the final roster. Though he's on Baylor's roster as a forward at Baylor, Jefferson is listed as one of three centers on the USA squad.
"Clearly versatility, we have guys that can play more than one position, that's one of the great strengths we have," USA head coach Bob McKillop said. "I think we shoot the ball particularly well from a number of positions, and we've got guys who want to be teammates. Those two things, to me, are the biggest advantages that we have, or the biggest strengths for our team."
The USA team is coached by McKillop (Davidson), and he's assisted by John Beilein (Michigan) and Frank Martin (South Carolina). The team will compete in the 2013 World University Games, which will be played July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia.
The 12-player roster includes guards Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Tyler Haws (BYU) and Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), forwards Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth), Luke Hancock (Louisville), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Adreian Payne (Michigan State) and Will Sheehey (Indiana) and centers Jefferson (Baylor), Alex Kirk (New Mexico) and Aaron White (Iowa).
After departing for Russia on Monday, the USA team will practice July 3-6, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7. The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +7 hours from CDT) on July 7, followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8, Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10, Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11 and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.
Jefferson had a breakout season as a fourth-year junior in 2012-13, after starting just one of the first 55 career games over his first three years in Waco. He averaged 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while starting all 37 games and leading the Bears to the 2013 NIT Championship.
A 2013 honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Jefferson earned a spot on the NIT All-Tournament Team after averaging a team-leading 21.2 points while shooting 71.9 percent from the floor during the Bears' 5-0 run through the NIT.
Jefferson is the seventh player in program history to play for USA Basketball while at Baylor. Jack Robinson was on the 1948 Olympic Team, Terry Teagle played in the 1979 US Olympic Festival, Michael Williams participated in the 1988 US Olympic Trials, Willie Sublett played in the 1991 US Olympic Festival, Brian Skinner played for USA Basketball in 1995, 1996 and 1997, including the 1997 World University Games, and Lawrence Roberts played in the 2003 Pan Am Games. Additionally, Aaron Bruce represented his native Australia on its national team in 2005 and 2006.
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