Villanova guard James Bell was one of 13 players named Sunday as finalists for the 2011 USA Men’s Under-19 World Championship team.
The USA Basketball junior national team committee must cut one of the 13 players before Friday, when the team heads over to Lithuania to continue training. The FIBA Under-19 World Championship begins June 30 in Latvia, with the United States team defending its gold medal won in 2009.
Bell, of Orlando, who will be starting his sophomore year at Villanova, had prior experience in USA Basketball last year but pulled out of workouts because of leg issues. He later underwent surgery for stress fractures in both legs.
The team is coached by George Mason’s Paul Hewitt, assisted by Randy Bennett of St. Mary’s (Calif.) and Cliff Warren of Jacksonville.
Named to the team in addition to Bell were Keith Appling of Michigan State, Anthony Brown of Stanford, Tim Hardaway Jr., of Michigan, Joe Jackson of Memphis, Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Meyers Leonard of Illinois, Khyle Marshall of Butler, Javon McCrea of Buffalo, Doug McDermott of Creighton, Tony Mitchell of North Texas and Patric Young of Florida.
Another finalist is Jahii Carson of Phoenix, who will attend Arizona State in the fall.
Training camp for the finalists continues through Thursday.