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Zeke Nnaji a finalist for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup team

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USA Basketball

Arizona Wildcats signee Zeke Nnaji is one of 18 finalists for the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s Under-19 World Cup Team.

Roster cuts were made Tuesday that narrowed the talent pool from 31 players to 18 after five practice sessions over the past three days.

The finalists will continue to train twice a day in Colorado Springs, and the roster will be trimmed to 12 by the time the team departs for Greece on June 24. The World Cup takes place June 29-July 7.

Of the 18 finalists, five completed their first collegiate season in 2018-19, five are from the high school class of 2019 and eight are from the high school class of 2020.

Matt Painter, USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee chair and Purdue University head coach, said Team USA has “outstanding athleticism and versatility, and the talent to become a very good defensive team.”

A long and mobile 6-foot-11 forward, Nnaji fits that description to a tee.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

  • Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.)
  • Joshua Christopher (Mayfair H.S./Lakewood, Calif.);
  • Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas);
  • Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State/Oshkosh, Wis.)
  • Walker Kessler (Woodward Academy/Newnan, Ga.)
  • Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama/Meridianville, Ala.)
  • Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State/Mansfield, Texas)
  • Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian School/Temecula, Calif.)
  • Casey Morsell (St. John’s College H.S./Washington, D.C.)
  • Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins H.S./Hopkins, Minn.)
  • Reggie Perry (Mississippi State/Thomasville, Ga.)
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy, FL/Overland Park, Kan.)
  • Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Anton Watson (Gonzaga Prep/Spokane, Wash.);
  • Trevion Williams (Purdue/Chicago, Ill.)
  • Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame H.S./Sherman Oaks, Calif.);
  • Samuell Williamson (Rockwall H.S./Rockwall, Texas)
  • Jared Butler (Baylor University/Reserve, La.) was also selected a finalist but was unable to participate.