James Robinson is off to the Czech Republic to compete at the World Basketball Championships after all, as a member of Team USA's U-19.
Robinson played his first game of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am League on Monday night. He finished his first night with 27 points and seven assists. After the game, he was asked about his experience in trying out for the team.
"It was a great experience in Colorado Springs, with some of the best 19 year-olds in the country," Robinson said. "Unfortunately for me, I wasn't one of the 12 selected. I'm confident coach Billy Donovan and his staff will have those guys ready to bring home a gold medal. I know that's the number-one goal."
He was also asked if he would consider another opportunity to compete in an international event.
"I hope so," Robinson said. "It's pretty much based on my performance next year. Hopefully, I'm lucky enough to get invited back for a second time in my career. If not, I still wish them the best of luck."
Robinson didn't have to wait another year. He barely had to wait 24 hours, as he was added to the Team USA U-19 roster Tuesday afternoon, after Syracuse's Jerami Grant was unable to participate, out with mononucleosis.
The FIBA U19 World Championship will feature 16 national teams from around the world. Team USA was placed into Group D along with China, Ivory Coast and Russia. In the preliminary round, Team USA will open against Ivory Coast on Thursday, then play China on Friday, June 28 and Russia on Saturday, June 29. The second round of the tournament is scheduled for July 1-3, followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals and the gold medal game (July 7).
This will be Robinson's third stint with the USA National Team as last summer he was selected to play on the American squad that captured the FIBA Americas Under-18 championship with a perfect 5-0 record at Sao Sebastiao de Paraiso, Brazil. Robinson led the Americans in assist:turnover ratio (6.00), totaled 12 assists and averaged 4.4 points and 15.6 minutes in the five games. Team USA averaged 97.2 points per game and outscored its opponents by an average of 38.6 points per game. Robinson also represented Team USA in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit game held in Portland, Ore. on April 7, 2012.
The 12-member USA National Team is comprised of Michael Frazier (University of Florida/Tampa, Fla.); Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.); Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.); Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Gretna, La.); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University/Flower Mound, Texas); Jarnell Stokes (University of Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke University/Houston, Texas); Mike Tobey (University of Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.); Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.); and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas). Florida's Billy Donovan is serving as head coach of the squad while Virginia's Tony Bennett and VCU's Shaka Smart are the assistant coaches.